High-efficiency polymer solar cells by blade coating in chlorine-free solvents

Pei Ting Tsai, Chia Ying Tsai, Chun Ming Wang, Yu Fan Chang, Hsin-Fei Meng*, Zhi Kuan Chen, Hao Wu Lin, Hsiao-Wen Zan, Sheng Fu Horng, Yi Chun Lai, Pei-Chen Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


High-performance polymer cells are typically fabricated by employing toxic solvents such as dichlorobenzene and chlorobenzene. In this study, blade coating with the chlorine-free solvents toluene and xylene is applied to polymer solar cells that contained the low band-gap polymer PBDTTT-C-T blended with [6,6]-phenyl-C71-butyric acid methyl ester ([70]PCBM). The highest efficiencies of the cells fabricated in toluene and xylene solutions were 6.09% and 6.11%, respectively. Atomic force microscopy images show that the films formed by blade coating using toluene and xylene were extremely smooth, with roughness of only 1 nm. This blade coating has a rapid-drying in a few seconds without the long-running thermal or solvent annealing. The possibility of high-volume environmentally-friendly fabrication of efficient polymer solar cells with minimal material waste is thus demonstrated using a combination of chlorine-free solvents and blade coating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-903
Number of pages11
JournalOrganic Electronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Blade coating
  • Chlorine-free solvents
  • Polymer solar cells

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