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The role of fullerenes in the environmental stability of polymer: fullerene solar cells

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Title: The role of fullerenes in the environmental stability of polymer: fullerene solar cells
Authors: Lee, HKH
Telford, AM
Rohr, JA
Wyatt, MF
Rice, B
Wu, J
Maciel, ADC
Tuladhar, SM
Speller, E
McGettrick, J
Searle, JR
Pont, S
Watson, T
Kirchartz, T
Durrant, JR
Tsoi, WC
Nelson, J
Li, Z
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Environmental stability is a common challenge for the commercialisation of low cost, encapsulation-free organic opto-electronic devices. Understanding the role of materials degradation is the key to address this challenge, but most such studies have been limited to conjugated polymers. Here we quantitatively study the role of the common fullerene derivative PCBM in limiting the stability of benchmark organic solar cells, showing that a minor fraction (<1%) of photo-oxidised PCBM, induced by short exposure to either solar or ambient laboratory lighting conditions in air, consistent with typical processing and operating conditions, is sufficient to compromise device performance severely. We identify the effects of photo-oxidation of PCBM on its chemical structure, and connect this to specific changes in its electronic structure, which significantly alter the electron transport and recombination kinetics. The effect of photo-oxidation on device current–voltage characteristics, electron mobility and density of states could all be explained with the same model of photoinduced defects acting as trap states. Our results demonstrate that the photochemical instability of PCBM and chemically similar fullerenes remains a barrier for the commercialisation of organic opto-electronic devices.
Issue Date: 1-Feb-2018
Date of Acceptance: 10-Jan-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/65410
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c7ee02983g
ISSN: 1754-5692
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
Start Page: 417
End Page: 428
Journal / Book Title: Energy and Environmental Science
Volume: 11
Issue: 2
Copyright Statement: © 2018 Royal Society of Chemistry.
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Funder's Grant Number: EP/P032591/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Chemistry, Multidisciplinary
Energy & Fuels
Engineering, Chemical
Environmental Sciences
Chemistry
Engineering
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
ORGANIC PHOTOVOLTAICS
C-60 FILMS
EFFICIENCY
DEGRADATION
AIR
PHOTODEGRADATION
PHOTOOXIDATION
COMPONENTS
STATES
LAYERS
MD Multidisciplinary
Energy
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2018-01-10
Appears in Collections:Physics
Chemistry
Experimental Solid State
Centre for Environmental Policy
Faculty of Natural Sciences



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