Interface engineering to enhance the efficiency of conventional polymer solar cells by alcohol-/water-soluble C60 materials doped with alkali carbonates

Yu Ying Lai, Ping I. Shih, Yi Peng Li, Che En Tsai, Jhong Sian Wu, Yen-Ju Cheng*, Chain-Shu Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Two new C60-based n-type materials, EGMC-OH and EGMC-COOH, functionalized with hydrophilic triethylene glycol groups (TEGs), have been synthesized and employed in conventional polymer solar cells. With the assistance of the TEG-based surfactant, EGMC-OH and EGMC-COOH can be dissolved in highly polar solvents to implement the polar/nonpolar orthogonal solvent strategy, forming an electron modification layer (EML) without eroding the underlying active layer. Multilayer conventional solar cells on the basis of ITO/PEDOT:PSS/P3HT:PC61BM/EML/Ca/Al configuration with the insertion of the EGMC-OH and EGMC-COOH EML between the active layer and the electrode have thus been successfully realized by cost-effective solution processing techniques. Moreover, the electron conductivity of the EML can be improved by incorporating alkali carbonates into the EGMC-COOH EML. Compared to the pristine device with a PCE of 3.61%, the devices modified by the Li2CO 3-doped EGMC-COOH EML achieved a highest PCE of 4.29%. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the formation of the EGMC-COOH EML can be utilized as a general approach in the fabrication of highly efficient multilayer conventional devices. With the incorporation of the EGMC-COOH doped with 40 wt % Li 2CO3, the PCDCTBT-C8:PC71BM-based device exhibited a superior PCE of 4.51%, which outperformed the corresponding nonmodified device with a PCE of 3.63%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5122-5128
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number11
StatePublished - 12 Jun 2013


  • alkali carbonates
  • dopant
  • electron-selective layer
  • hydrophilic fullerene materials
  • interface engineering
  • polymer solar cells

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