Shelf life degradation of bulk heterojunction solar cells : intrinsic evolution of charge transfer complex
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Engineering sciences. Technology
Laser physics review. - Place of publication unknown
, 8 p.
University of Antwerp
Achievement of long-term stability of organic photovoltaics is currently one of the major topics for this technology to reach maturity. Most of the techniques used to reveal degradation pathways are destructive and/or do not allow for real-time measurements in operating devices. Here, three different, nondestructive techniques able to provide real-time information, namely, film absorbance, capacitance-voltage (C-V), and impedance spectroscopy (IS), are combined over a period of 1 year using non-accelerated intrinsic degradation conditions. It is discerned between chemical modifications in the active layer, physical processes taking place in the bulk of the blend from those at the active layer/contact interfaces. In particular, it is observed that during the ageing experiment, the main source for device performance degradation is the formation of donor-acceptor charge-transfer complex (P3HT(center dot+)-PCBM center dot-) that acts as an exciton quencher. Generation of these radical species diminishes photocurrent and reduces open-circuit voltage by the creation of electronic defect states. Conclusions extracted from absorption, C-V, and IS measurements will be further supported by a range of other techniques such as atomic force microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and dark-field imaging of scanning transmission electron microscopy on ultrathin cross-sections.