n-Doping of organic semiconductors for enhanced electron extraction from solution processed solar cells using alkali metals
To improve charge carrier injection into or extraction from organic optoelectronic devices, electrically doped layers are often employed. Whereas n-doping of organic semiconductors has been widely used in vacuum processed optoelectronic devices, adequate solution processes to enable future device printing are underdeveloped. In this work, we study n-doping of 1,3,5-tris(1-phenyl-1H-benzimidazol-2-yl)benzene (TPBi) in a solution process, using sodium as the electron donor. Upon addition of elementary sodium to a clear TPBi/toluene solution, we observed a change in color, indicating charge carrier transfer between sodium and TPBi. The optical and electrical properties of doped and undoped TPBi were characterized in solution and in the corresponding thin-films. Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) measurements revealed an increase of the number of unpaired spins upon doping, indicating the presence of doping-induced charge carriers. Implementing TPBi : Na as electron extraction layers in organic solar cells, we found almost the same device performance as compared to state-of-the-art solar cells comprising zinc oxide electron extraction layers.