Two-in-one: cathode modification and improved solar cell blend stability through addition of modified fullerenes
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The synthesis of dual purpose modified fullerenes with pyridine- as well as amine-functional groups is reported. Addition of these fullerenes to a polymer : fullerene bulk-heterojunction blend based on a thiophene–quinoxaline donor polymer is found to modify the active layer/cathode interface of inverted solar cells (glass/ITO/active layer/MoO3/Al). In particular the open-circuit voltage of devices is increased from 0.1 V to about 0.7 V, which results in a drastic rise in photovoltaic performance with a power conversion efficiency of up to 3%. At the same time, presence of the functionalised fullerene additives prevents the detrimental formation of micrometre-sized fullerene crystals upon annealing at 140 °C. As a result, the device performance is retained, which promises significantly increased thermal stability of the bulk-heterojunction blend nanostructure.
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