Compatibility of PTB7 and [70]PCBM as a Key Factor for the Stability of PTB7: [70]PCBM Solar Cells

Davide Bartesaghi, Gang Ye, Ryan C. Chiechi, L. Jan Anton Koster*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

14 Citaten (Scopus)


The rapid degradation of organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices compared to conventional inorganic solar cells is one of the critical issues that have to be solved in order to make OPV a competitive commercial technology. The understanding of the fundamental mechanisms that reduce the power conversion efficiency (PCE) over time is beneficial for the design of new materials with enhanced stability. This paper focuses on bulk heterojunction organic solar cells based on thieno [3,4-b] thiophene-alt-benzodithiophene (PTB7) mixed with [6,6]-phenyl-C71-butyric acid methyl esther ([70]PCBM). In spite of being promising in terms of PCE, devices based on this blend are unstable and have a short lifetime. When exposed to light in inert atmosphere, the PCE drops by 15% in less than 1 h and by 35% in 8 h; this degradation is induced by the ultraviolet (UV) part of the spectrum. This paper analyzes the effect induced by UV light on the transport of charges in PTB7:[70] PCBM. Contrary to expectations, the electron transport shows evidence of trapping, while the transport of holes appears unaffected. Furthermore, it is proven that the loss of PCE is due to a reaction between PTB7 and [70] PCBM, while the intrinsic instability of the polymer plays a marginal role.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's9
TijdschriftAdvanced Energy Materials
Nummer van het tijdschrift13
StatusPublished - 6-jul-2016

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