The roles of poly(ethylene oxide) electrode buffers in efficient polymer photovoltaics

Jun Yuan Jeng, Ming Wei Lin, Yao Jane Hsu, Ten-Chin Wen, Tzung-Fang Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


The role of poly(ethylene oxide) polymer is investigated as an effective buffer with Al electrodes to markedly improve the electrode interface and enhance the open-circuit voltage ( V OC) and the power conversion efficiency ( PCE,η) of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT):[6,6]-phenyl C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM)-based bulk-heterojunction ( BHJ ) solar cells. A unique process is developed by thermally co-evaporating the poly(ethylene glycol) dimethyl ether (PEGDE, Mn ca. 2000) polymer with Al metal simultaneously at different ratios in vacuum (10 -6Torr) to prepare the electrode buffers. The instant formation of a carbide-like junction at the ethylene oxide/Al interface during the thermal evaporation is of essential importance to the extraction of electrons through the Al electrode. The performance of P3HT:PCBM-based solar cells can be optimized by modulating the co-evaporation ratios of the PEGDE polymer with Al metal due to the changes in the work functions of the electrodes. The V OC and η for devices fabricated with Al electrode are 0.44 V and 1.64%, respectively, and significantly improve to 0.58 V and 4.00% when applying the PEGDE:Al(2:1)/Al electrode. This research leads to a novel electrode design - free of salts, additives, complicated syntheses, and having tunable work function - for fabricating high-performance photovoltaic cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1192-1198
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

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