The effect of calcium-induced fullerene migration on the performance of thermally stable nanoparticle organic solar cells
The impact of a calcium interface layer in combination with a thermal annealing treatment on the performance of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT):[6,6]-phenyl-C61-buteric acid methylester (PCBM) nanoparticle photovoltaic devices is investigated. Annealing is found to disrupt the microstructure of the nanoparticle active layer leading to a reduction in fill factor. However, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements show that the calcium interface layer causes PCBM to preferentially migrate to the cathode interface upon annealing, resulting in better charge extraction from the PCBM moiety, an increase in the built-in voltage, open-circuit voltage, and power conversion efficiency. Moreover, the annealing trends could be completely explained by the observed PCBM migration. Unlike P3HT:PCBM bulk heterojunction devices, the P3HT:PCBM nanoparticle devices showed a remarkable thermal stability up to 120 °C. As such, OPVs fabricated from aqueous nanoparticle inks provide an attractive alternative to conventional organic solvent based bulk heterojunction devices.