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Chin. Phys. B, 2016, Vol. 25(3): 038402    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/25/3/038402

Improved performance of polymer solar cells by using inorganic, organic, and doped cathode buffer layers

Taohong Wang(王桃红)1, Changbo Chen(陈长博)1, Kunping Guo(郭坤平)2, Guo Chen(陈果)2, Tao Xu(徐韬)2,3, Bin Wei(魏斌)2
1. School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200072, China;
2. Key Laboratory of Advanced Display and System Applications, Ministry of Education, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200072, China;
3. Sino-European School of Technology, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China
Abstract  The interface between the active layer and the electrode is one of the most critical factors that could affect the device performance of polymer solar cells. In this work, based on the typical poly(3-hexylthiophene):[6,6]-phenyl C61-butyric acid methyl ester (P3HT:PCBM) polymer solar cell, we studied the effect of the cathode buffer layer (CBL) between the top metal electrode and the active layer on the device performance. Several inorganic and organic materials commonly used as the electron injection layer in an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) were employed as the CBL in the P3HT:PCBM polymer solar cells. Our results demonstrate that the inorganic and organic materials like Cs2CO3, bathophenanthroline (Bphen), and 8-hydroxyquinolatolithium (Liq) can be used as CBL to efficiently improve the device performance of the P3HT:PCBM polymer solar cells. The P3HT:PCBM devices employed various CBLs possess power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of 3.0%-3.3%, which are ca. 50% improved compared to that of the device without CBL. Furthermore, by using the doped organic materials Bphen:Cs2CO3 and Bphen:Liq as the CBL, the PCE of the P3HT:PCBM device will be further improved to 3.5%, which is ca. 70% higher than that of the device without a CBL and ca. 10% increased compared with that of the devices with a neat inorganic or organic CBL.
Keywords:  polymer solar cell      interface      cathode buffer layer      morphology  
Received:  26 October 2015      Revised:  05 November 2015      Accepted manuscript online: 
PACS:  84.60.Jt (Photoelectric conversion)  
  73.50.-h (Electronic transport phenomena in thin films)  
  72.20.Jv (Charge carriers: generation, recombination, lifetime, and trapping)  
  64.75.St (Phase separation and segregation in thin films)  
Fund: Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61204014), the “Chenguang” Project (13CG42) supported by Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and Shanghai Education Development Foundation, China, and the Shanghai University Young Teacher Training Program of Shanghai Municipality, China.
Corresponding Authors:  Guo Chen, Tao Xu     E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

Taohong Wang(王桃红), Changbo Chen(陈长博), Kunping Guo(郭坤平), Guo Chen(陈果), Tao Xu(徐韬), Bin Wei(魏斌) Improved performance of polymer solar cells by using inorganic, organic, and doped cathode buffer layers 2016 Chin. Phys. B 25 038402

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