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Development of Annealing-Free, Solution-Processable Inverted Organic Solar Cells with N‑Doped Graphene Electrodes using Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles

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posted on 2018-01-24, 00:00 authored by Seungon Jung, Junghyun Lee, Jihyung Seo, Ungsoo Kim, Yunseong Choi, Hyesung Park
An annealing-free process is considered as a technological advancement for the development of flexible (or wearable) organic electronic devices, which can prevent the distortion of substrates and damage to the active components of the device and simplify the overall fabrication process to increase the industrial applications. Owing to its outstanding electrical, optical, and mechanical properties, graphene is seen as a promising material that could act as a transparent conductive electrode for flexible optoelectronic devices. Owing to their high transparency and electron mobility, zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NP) are attractive and promising for their application as charge transporting materials for low-temperature processes in organic solar cells (OSCs), particularly because most charge transporting materials require annealing treatments at elevated temperatures. In this study, graphene/annealing-free ZnO-NP hybrid materials were developed for inverted OSC by successfully integrating ZnO-NP on the hydrophobic surface of graphene, thus aiming to enhance the applicability of graphene as a transparent electrode in flexible OSC systems. Chemical, optical, electrical, and morphological analyses of ZnO-NPs showed that the annealing-free process generates similar results to those provided by the conventional annealing process. The approach was effectively applied to graphene-based inverted OSCs with notable power conversion efficiencies of 8.16% and 7.41% on the solid and flexible substrates, respectively, which promises the great feasibility of graphene for emerging optoelectronic device applications.

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