Structural evolution of evaporated lead phthalocyanine thin films for near-infrared sensitive solar cells

Karolien Vasseur, Barry P. Rand, David Cheyns, Ludo Froyen, Paul Heremans

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62 Scopus citations


In this work, wefocus on the deposition conditions as ameans to control the structural evolution of lead phthalocyanine (PbPc) films in order to promote the triclinic structure, thereby inducing a shift in the absorption spectrum toward the near-infrared (NIR). Absorption spectra of PbPc films exhibit an enhanced NIR absorption peak at a wavelength of λ = 900 nm upon (i) increasing film thickness, (ii) increasing substrate temperature, or (iii) decreasing evaporation rate. X-ray diffraction measurements correlate the enhancement of the NIR absorption peak with an improved crystallinity and increased average volume of triclinic domains in the mixed monoclinic-triclinic films. As the surface structure of 10 and 60 nm thick films differ, this implies an asymmetric layer structure with a semicrystalline monoclinic film close to the substrate, evolving to a predominantly triclinic structure in the upper part of the film. We have demonstrated the use of structural control of the PbPc layer in a planar heterojunction solar cell with NIR-sensitivity. Decreasing the evaporation rate results in solar cells with significantly enhanced short-circuit current density (JSC), because of the change in absorption in combination with the longer exciton diffusion length that was estimated for donor layers exhibiting a predominantly triclinic structure. Overall, an optimized solar cell yields a power conversion efficiency of 2.6% (2.1% when correcting for the solar spectrum mismatch), and has external quantum efficiencies above 11% from λ = 320-990 nm with a peak value of 34% at λ = 900 nm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)886-895
Number of pages10
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 8 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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