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Issue 11, 2012
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Highly conductive PEDOT:PSS electrode by simple film treatment with methanol for ITO-free polymer solar cells

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Abstract

We proposed a simple yet robust film treatment method with methanol having only one hydroxyl group to enhance the conductivity of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) by four orders of magnitude. Different methods of film treatment: immersing PEDOT:PSS film in the methanol solution; dropping methanol on the film; and a combination of these are employed and the results are compared. The conductivity of PEDOT:PSS films was enhanced from 0.3 S cm−1 to 1362 S cm−1 after film treatment with methanol. Other alcohols like ethanol and propanol were also used to treat the PEDOT:PSS film and showed inferior conductivity enhancement compared to methanol. The conductivity enhancement was greatly affected by the hydrophilicity and dielectric constant of the alcohols used. The mechanism of conductivity enhancement was investigated through various characterization techniques including FTIR, XPS and AFM. Removal of the insulator PSS from the film, and morphology and conformational changes are the mechanisms for the conductivity enhancement. The treated films also showed high transmittance and low sheet resistance desirable for a standalone electrode. ITO-free polymer solar cells were fabricated using PEDOT:PSS electrodes treated with methanol and showed almost equal performance to ITO electrodes.

Graphical abstract: Highly conductive PEDOT:PSS electrode by simple film treatment with methanol for ITO-free polymer solar cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Jun 2012, accepted on 17 Sep 2012 and first published on 18 Sep 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE22595F
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2012,5, 9662-9671

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    Highly conductive PEDOT:PSS electrode by simple film treatment with methanol for ITO-free polymer solar cells

    D. Alemu, H. Wei, K. Ho and C. Chu, Energy Environ. Sci., 2012, 5, 9662
    DOI: 10.1039/C2EE22595F

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