Surfactant-Enriched ZnO Surface via Sol-Gel Process for the Efficient Inverted Polymer Solar Cell

Yen Chia Chen, Chen Hsueh Lin, Tzung Fang Guo, Ten Chin Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we demonstrate that the top surface is enriched by surfactants, tetraoctylammonium bromide, and cetylpyridinium bromide (CPB), in the sol-gel ZnO, being evidenced by the Br depth profile of electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis data. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results showed the formation of Zn-Br bonding due to the oxygen defects occupied by Br at the surfactant-enriched ZnO surface. The surfactant-enriched ZnO surface possessed a smoother surface and more hydrophobicity than the pristine ZnO from the experimental results of atomic force microscopy and contact angle, respectively. On the basis of ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy data, the work function slightly reduced due to the dipole built-up by the electrostatic force between Br- and N+ to enhance the electron extraction ability. The improved properties benefited the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of bulk-heterojunction polymer solar cells (PSCs) by spin-coating the active layer on the surfactant-enriched ZnO surface. The inverted PSCs with the surfactant-enriched ZnO surface showed the highest PCE of 9.55% for the CPB case, in comparison with the pristine ZnO surface (8.08% PCE). This study discloses that turning the ZnO surface is easily achieved by the addition of surfactants with different molecular structures in the sol-gel ZnO for high performance polymer solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26805-26811
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 8

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


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