Ames Laboratory; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Microelectronics Research Center (MRC)
Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ames Laboratory, Microelectronics Research Center (MRC)
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
We report the improvement in photostability of P3HT:PC60BM based bulk heterojunction solar cells deposited on Al-doped ZnO as a cathode layer replacing ITO as regularly used TCO in cells with N-I-P configuration. We experimentally and theoretically demonstrate that use of thicker ZnO:Al as cathode can successfully cut down the rate of photodegradation in short circuit current by ~40% and open circuit voltage by ~30% compared to the control device made on ITO based cathode. This effective reduction in photodegradation is understood to be coming from the absorption of ultraviolet and blue photon in the cathode layer itself. The loss in short circuit current due to the loss of blue photon in EQE is compensated by higher FF (lower series resistance) due to thicker ZnO:Al layer resulting in final device efficiency almost uncompromised with added benefit of reduced photo degradation. The experimental results are supported with optical simulations which show more absorption in the short wavelength region for the thicker ZnO films, compared to ITO films, deposited on glass substrates. This work also proposes using ZnO:Al cathode as a template for random textured front surface to potentially increase short circuit current by increase in photon absorption in active layer matrix by light scattering techniques. Our results provide an inexpensive pathway for improving the stability of organic photovoltaics without compromising the device performance.
Department of Energy Subject Categories
14 SOLAR ENERGY
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