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Electrolytes as Cathode Interlayers in Inverted Organic Solar Cells: Influence of the Cations on Bias-Dependent Performance

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journal contribution
posted on 20.02.2017, 00:00 by Yaru Li, Xiaohui Liu, Xiaodong Li, Wenjun Zhang, Feifei Xing, Junfeng Fang
The performance of organic solar cells (OSCs) with edetate electrolytes depends on external bias, and ions are speculated to be responsible for this phenomenon. To clarify the detailed relationship between the ions of electrolytes and the bias-dependent behaviors of devices, this work introduces four edetate cathode interlayers (EDTA-X, X = nH­(4–n)­Na, n = 0, 1, 2, and 4) containing different kinds and number of cations into inverted OSCs. The results show that the devices initial and saturated (after external bias treatment) power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) both decrease with the increase in the number of H+. Moreover, the bias-dependent degrees increase with the increase in H+ number; with that, the PCE increment of EDTA-4H device is 53.4%, while that of the EDTA-4Na device is almost unchanged. The electrical impedance spectroscopy and capacitance–voltage tests reveal that the interfacial recombination is greatly suppressed by external bias treatment, which is not a result of the decreased density of defect states. The results indicate that the ion’s motion, specifically the H+ motion, under external electrical field is responsible for the bias-dependent behavior, which is conducive to the design of new efficient electrolytic interlayers without bias-dependent performance.