Optimization of an Electron Transport Layer to Enhance the Power Conversion Efficiency of Flexible Inverted Organic Solar Cells

Kang Hyuck Lee1, Brijesh Kumar1, Hye-Jeong Park1 and Sang-Woo Kim12*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Advanced Materials Science and Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, 440-746, Republic of Korea

2 SKKU Advanced Institute of Nanotechnology (SAINT) and Center for Human Interface Nanotechnology (HINT), Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, 440-746, Republic of Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2010, 5:1908-1912  doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9769-9

Published: 31 August 2010


The photovoltaic (PV) performance of flexible inverted organic solar cells (IOSCs) with an active layer consisting of a blend of poly(3-hexylthiophene) and [6, 6]-phenyl C61-butlyric acid methyl ester was investigated by varying the thicknesses of ZnO seed layers and introducing ZnO nanorods (NRs). A ZnO seed layer or ZnO NRs grown on the seed layer were used as an electron transport layer and pathway to optimize PV performance. ZnO seed layers were deposited using spin coating at 3,000 rpm for 30 s onto indium tin oxide (ITO)-coated polyethersulphone (PES) substrates. The ZnO NRs were grown using an aqueous solution method at a low temperature (90°C). The optimized device with ZnO NRs exhibited a threefold increase in PV performance compared with that of a device consisting of a ZnO seed layer without ZnO NRs. Flexible IOSCs fabricated using ZnO NRs with improved PV performance may pave the way for the development of PV devices with larger interface areas for effective exciton dissociation and continuous carrier transport paths.

Inverted organic solar cells; ZnO nanorods; Electron transport layer; Photovoltaic; Short circuit current density