Impact of metal oxide diffusion and materials design on thermal stabilities of non-fullerene polymer solar cells

Dongmin Lee, Yongchan Jang, Jeonga Kim, Sang Young Jeong, Han Young Woo, Donggu Lee, Jongbok Kim, Youngmin Lee, Changyeon Lee, Wonho Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Non-fullerene acceptor-based polymer solar cells (NFA-PSCs) can exhibit high morphological stability under thermal stress, often resulting in the fabrication of thermally stable NFA-PSCs. Here, our stability study with systematic steps shows that high morphological stability of active layers does not necessarily guarantee high thermal stability for NFA-PSCs. Furthermore, a degradation pathway is elucidated by using two NFA-PSCs comprising well-known polymer donors and non-fullerene acceptors such as PTB7-Th, PBDB-T-2Cl, and ITIC-4F. Morphologies of the PTB7-Th:ITIC-4F and PBDB-T-2Cl:ITIC-4F blends are highly stable at a high temperature of 110 °C. However, the corresponding NFA-PSCs degrade severely at the same temperature. For example, all the NFA-PSCs show an efficiency reduction of greater than 30% within an hour, particularly owing to the significant decrease in the short-circuit current density (JSC) and fill factor (FF). A series of experiments, including time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry measurements, demonstrate that the penetration of metal oxide molecules into the photoactive layer occurs upon heating, resulting in degradation. The diffused molecules can act as charge recombination centers, leading to decreases in JSC and FF. Finally, we provide insights, from a material design perspective, into the prevention of undesirable penetration of metal oxide molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3008-3017
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan 11

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2020R1I1A306779). This work was also supported by the NRF grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (NRF-2018R1A6A1A03025761, 2022R1F1A1062675, and 2019R1A6A1A11044070).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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