Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.132, No.13, 4887-4893, 2010
Highly Efficient and Stable Inverted Polymer Solar Cells Integrated with a Cross-Linked Fullerene Material as an Interlayer
A novel PCBM-based n-type material, [6,6]-phenyl-C-61-butyric styryl dendron ester (PCBSD). functionalized with a dendron containing two styryl groups as thermal cross-linkers, has been rationally designed and easily synthesized. In situ cross-linking of PCBSD was carried out by heating at a low temperature of 160 degrees C for 30 min to generate a robust, adhesive, and solvent-resistant thin film. This cross-linked network enables a sequential active layer to be successfully deposited on top of this interlayer to overcome the problem of interfacial erosion and realize a multilayer inverted device by all-solution processing. An inverted solar cell device based on an ITO/ZnO/C-PCBSD/P3HT:PCBM/PEDOT:PSS/Ag configuration not only achieves enhanced device characteristics, with an impressive PCE of 4.4%, but also exhibits an exceptional device lifetime without encapsulation; it greatly outperforms a reference device (PCE = 3.5%) based on an ITO/ZnO/P3HT:PCBM/PEDOT:PSS/Ag configuration without the interlayer. This C-PCBSD interlayer exerts multiple positive effects on both P3HT/C-PCBSD and PCBM/C-PCBSD localized heterojunctions at the interface of the active layer, including improved exciton dissociation efficiency, reduced charge recombination, decreased interface contact resistance, and induction of vertical phase separation to reduce the bulk resistance of the active layer as well as passivation of the local shunts at the ZnO interface. Moreover, this promising approach can be applied to another inverted solar cell, ITO/ZnO/C-PCBSD/PCPDTBT:PC71BM/PEDOT:PSS/Ag, using PCPDTBT as the p-type low-band-gap conjugated polymer to achieve an improved PCE of 3.4%. Incorporation of this cross-linked C-60 interlayer could become a standard procedure in the fabrication of highly efficient and stable multilayer inverted solar cells.