The marriage of AIE and interface engineering: convenient synthesis and enhanced photovoltaic performance
As a promising option out of all of the well-recognized candidates that have been developed to solve the coming energy crisis, polymer solar cells (PSCs) are a kind of competitive clean energy source. However, as a convenient and efficient method to improve the efficiency of PSCs, the inherent mechanism of the interfacial modification was still not so clear, and interfacial materials constructed with new units were limited to a large degree. Here we present a new kind of interfacial material consisting of AIE units for the first time, with an efficiency of 8.94% being achieved by inserting TPE-2 as a cathode interlayer. This is a relatively high PCE for PC71BM:PTB7-based conventional PSCs with a single-junction structure. Different measurements, including TEM, AFM, SEM, GIXRD, UPS, SKPM, and SCLC, were conducted to investigate the properties in detail. All of the obtained experimental results confirmed the advantages of the utilization of new interfacial materials with AIE characteristics in polymer solar cells, thus providing an additional choice to develop new organic cathode interfacial layers with high performances.