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ZnO as effective hole transport layer for water resistant organic solar cells


Organic solar cells (OSCs) are a major contender for the third generation photovoltaic systems. However, scalability and potential commercial viability of OSCs are still limited due to their instability under hostile ambient conditions such as humid atmosphere. One of the major limiting factors in this context is water-solubility of the hole transport layer (HTL). As a solution of this problem, in the given work, we report a design of ultrathin, water-resistant and p-type-like conducting ZnO film serving as a HTL for inverted OSCs. This film is fabricated using ultrasonic spray pyrolysis under ambient conditions and subsequently transferred onto the active layer of the OSC using a sacrificial poly(styrenesulfonate) (PPS) film. The resulting ZnO film has oxygen-rich and zinc-deficient character which stems presumably from a gradient-like doping of PSS chelating with zinc species. These characteristics result in a suitable energy level realignment and facilitate the p-type-like charge transport to the anode. The fabricated device has excellent stability and only minor loss in performance upon a prolonged immersion in water without encapsulation, in striking contrast to the commonly used MoOx HTL OSC which was completely deteriorated.

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Dec 2017, accepted on 08 Mar 2018 and first published on 10 Mar 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA10722F
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    ZnO as effective hole transport layer for water resistant organic solar cells

    C. Chi, C. Shih, E. Sauter, S. K. Das, Y. Liang , H. Lien, S. Chang, M. Zharnikov and Y. Tai, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7TA10722F

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