Energy level alignment in PCDTBT:PC70BM solar cells: Solution processed NiOx for improved hole collection and efficiency

Erin L. Ratcliff, Jens Meyer, K. Xerxes Steirer, Neal R. Armstrong, Dana Olson, Antoine Kahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

118 Scopus citations

Abstract

Solution-based NiOx outperforms PEDOT:PSS in device performance and stability when used as a hole-collection layer in bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells formed with poly[N-9′-heptadecanyl-2,7-carbazole-alt-5,5- (4′,7′-di-2-thienyl-2′,1′,3′-benzothiadiazole) (PCDTBT) and PC70BM. The origin of the enhancement is clarified by studying the interfacial energy level alignment between PCDTBT or the 1:4 blended heterojunctions and PEDOT:PSS or NiOx using ultraviolet and inverse photoemission spectroscopies. The 1.6 eV electronic gap of PEDOT:PSS and energy level alignment with the BHJ result in poor hole selectivity of PEDOT:PSS and allows electron recombination at the PEDOT:PSS/BHJ interface. Conversely, the large band gap (3.7 eV) of NiOx and interfacial dipole (≥0.6 eV) with the organic active layer leads to a hole-selective interface. This interfacial dipole yields enhanced electron blocking properties by increasing the barrier to electron injection. The presence of such a strong dipole is predicted to further promote hole collection from the organic layer into the oxide, resulting in increased fill factor and short circuit current. An overall decrease in recombination is manifested in an increase in open circuit voltage and power conversion efficiency of the device on NiOx versus PEDOT:PSS interlayers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)744-749
Number of pages6
JournalOrganic Electronics
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Keywords

  • Blend
  • Electronic structure
  • Interface dipole
  • PCDTBT
  • Photoemission spectroscopy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Energy level alignment in PCDTBT:PC<sub>70</sub>BM solar cells: Solution processed NiO<sub>x</sub> for improved hole collection and efficiency'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this