We investigate solution-processed tetra-n-alkyl ammonium bromides (TAABs) as electron extraction layers (EELs) in bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells based on poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and [6,6]-phenyl-C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM). The EELs of TAABs lead to simultaneous increases in open-circuit voltage (VOC), short-circuit current density, and fill factor, enhancing the power conversion efficiency of BHJ solar cells from 2.38% to 4.02-4.19%. It is interesting that the same increase in VOC of about 0.14 V is obtained for devices with Al, Ag, and Au cathodes by using the EEL of TOAB. The self-assembly of TOAB into the lamellar structure stacked upright atop P3HT:PCBM is corroborated by synchrotron X-ray diffraction. The surface morphologies of TAABs atop P3HT:PCBM, explored by atomic force microscopy, show that there are ultrathin layers of TAABs in the regions beside large island clusters. The underlying mechanism is inferred that the TAAB molecules introduce anisotropic dipoles toward P3HT:PCBM which significantly elevate the vacuum level of the metal cathode for the efficient electron extraction. Our results provide a simple method to fabricate high performance BHJ solar cells by solution processing.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Materials Science(all)