Consequences of anode interfacial layer deletion. HCl-treated ITO in P3HT:PCBM-based bulk-heterojunction organic photovoltaic devices

Michael D Irwin, Jun Liu, Benjamin J Leever, Jonathan D Servaites, Mark C Hersam, Michael F Durstock, Tobin J Marks
Langmuir: the ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids 2010 February 16, 26 (4): 2584-91
In studies to simplify the fabrication of bulk-heterojunction organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices, it was found that when glass/tin-doped indium oxide (ITO) substrates are treated with dilute aqueous HCl solutions, followed by UV ozone (UVO), and then used to fabricate devices of the structure glass/ITO/P3HT:PCBM/LiF/Al, device performance is greatly enhanced. Light-to-power conversion efficiency (Eff) increases from 2.4% for control devices in which the ITO surface is treated only with UVO to 3.8% with the HCl + UVO treatment--effectively matching the performance of an identical device having a PEDOT:PSS anode interfacial layer. The enhancement originates from increases in V(OC) from 463 to 554 mV and FF from 49% to 66%. The modified-ITO device also exhibits a 4x enhancement in thermal stability versus an identical device containing a PEDOT:PSS anode interfacial layer. To understand the origins of these effects, the ITO surface is analyzed as a function of treatment by ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy work function measurements, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic composition analysis, and atomic force microscopic topography and conductivity imaging. Additionally, a diode-based device model is employed to further understand the effects of ITO surface treatment on device performance.

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