Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.

Issue 3, 2015
Previous Article Next Article

Optimal top electrodes for inverted polymer solar cells

Author affiliations


Although polymer solar cells (PSCs) have received a tremendous amount of attention in recent years, a number of criteria must be met in order for them to be suitable as practical and commercially feasible power sources, including high performance, good air stability and inexpensive manufacturing. In this contribution, we determine the optimal top electrode for practical PSC fabrication by investigating the influence of the electrode material on the optical properties and performance of PSC devices. The optical properties of eight metals were considered, out of which three metal electrodes (aluminum (Al), silver (Ag), gold (Au)) with the best optical properties were used to prepare inverted PSC devices comprising a blended polymer thieno[3,4-b]thiophene/benzodithiophene (PTB7) and [6,6]-phenyl C71-butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM). Among the photovoltaic parameters, the short circuit current density (JSC) was most strongly affected by the optical properties of the top electrode. In the results of the experiment, the JSC of the Al and Ag electrode devices was found to be approximately 13% (13.4 → 15.1 mA cm−2) higher than the Au electrode device due to the significant parasitic absorption of light by Au at wavelengths below 600 nm. In contrast, Al and Ag electrodes have high reflectance throughout the visible spectrum, which leads to high JSC. Ag electrodes have relatively good stability to ambient exposure, maintaining over 96% of the original efficiency after 170 hours; this stability is comparable to Au. These data lead to the conclusion that Ag is the optimal top electrode material for use in inverted devices.

Graphical abstract: Optimal top electrodes for inverted polymer solar cells

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information

20 Oct 2014
26 Nov 2014
First published
27 Nov 2014

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015,17, 2152-2159
Article type
Author version available

Optimal top electrodes for inverted polymer solar cells

H. R. Yeom, J. Heo, G. Kim, S. Ko, S. Song, Y. Jo, D. S. Kim, B. Walker and J. Y. Kim, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015, 17, 2152
DOI: 10.1039/C4CP04788E

Social activity

Search articles by author