We report on the development of flexible organic solar cells (OSCs) incorporating graphene sheets synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) as transparent conducting electrodes on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrates. A key barrier that must be overcome for the successful fabrication of OSCs with graphene electrodes is the poor-film properties of water-based poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiphene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) when coated onto hydrophobic graphene surfaces. To form a uniform PEDOT:PSS film on a graphene surface, we added perfluorinated ionomers (PFI) to pristine PEDOT:PSS to create 'GraHEL', which we then successfully spin coated onto the graphene surface. We systematically investigated the effect of number of layers in layer-by-layer stacked graphene anode of an OSC on the performance parameters including the open-circuit voltage (Voc), short-circuit current (Jsc), and fill factor (FF). As the number of graphene layers increased, the FF tended to increase owing to lower sheet resistance, while Jsc tended to decrease owing to the lower light absorption. In light of this trade-off between sheet resistance and transmittance, we determined that three-layer graphene (3LG) represents the best configuration for obtaining the optimal power conversion efficiency (PCE) in OSC anodes, even at suboptimal sheet resistances. We finally developed efficient, flexible OSCs with a PCE of 4.33%, which is the highest efficiency attained so far by an OSC with CVD-grown graphene electrodes to the best of our knowledge.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering