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Self-Organization of Amine-Based Cathode Interfacial Materials in Inverted Polymer Solar Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 2014-02-25, 00:00 authored by Di Ma, Menglan Lv, Ming Lei, Jin Zhu, Haiqiao Wang, Xiwen Chen
We present a strategy to fabricate polymer solar cells in inverted geometry by self-organization of alcohol soluble cathode interfacial materials in donor–acceptor bulk heterojunction blends. An amine-based fullerene [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid 2-((2-(dimethylamino)-ethyl)(methyl)amino)ethyl ester (PCBDAN) is used as an additive in poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and 6,6-phenyl C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) blend to give a power conversion efficiency of 3.7% based on devices ITO/P3HT:PCBM:PCBDAN/MoO3/Ag where the ITO alone is used as the cathode. A vertical phase separation in favor of the inverted device architecture is formed: PCBDAN is rich on buried ITO surface reducing its work function, while P3HT is rich on air interface with the hole-collecting electrode. The driving force of the vertical phase separation is ascribed to the surface energy and its components of the blend compositions and the substrates. Similar results are also found with another typical alcohol soluble cathode interfacial materials, poly[(9,9-bis(3′-(N, N-dimethylamino)propyl)-2,7-fluorene)-alt-2,7-(9,9-dioctylfluorene)] (PFN), implying that self-organization may be a general phenomenon in ternary blends. This self-organization procedure could eliminate the fabrication of printing thin film of interlayers or printing on such thin interlayers and would have potential application for roll-to-roll processing of polymer solar cells.