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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2014 May 28;6(10):7759-65. doi: 10.1021/am501034g. Epub 2014 Apr 16.

Enhanced air stability of polymer solar cells with a nanofibril-based photoactive layer.

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  • 1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Yonsei University , 134 Shinchong-dong, Seoul 120-750, Republic of Korea.


In spite of the rapid increase in the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of polymer solar cells (PSCs), the poor stability of the photoactive layer in air under sunlight is a critical problem blocking commercialization of PSCs. This study investigates the photo-oxidation behavior of a bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) photoactive film made of single-crystalline poly(3-hexlythiophene) (P3HT) nanofibrils and fullerene derivatives [phenyl-C61-butyric methyl ester (PCBM), indene-C 60 bisadduct (ICBA)]. Because the single-crystalline P3HT nanofibrils had tightly packed π-π stacking, the permeation of oxygen and water into the nanofibrils was significantly reduced. Chemical changes in P3HT were not apparent in the nanofibrils, and hence the air stability of the nanofibril-based BHJ film was considerably enhanced as compared with conventional BHJ films. The chemical changes were monitored by Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and UV-vis absorbance. Inverted PSCs made of the nanofibril-based BHJ layer also showed significantly enhanced air stability under sunlight. The nanofibril-based solar cell maintained more than 80% of its initial PCE after 30 days of continuous exposure to sunlight (AM 1.5G, 100 mW/cm(2)), whereas the PCE of the conventional BHJ solar cell decreased to 20% of its initial PCE under the same experimental conditions.

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