Square‐Centimeter‐Sized High‐Efficiency Polymer Solar Cells: How the Processing Atmosphere and Film Quality Influence Performance at Large Scale

Research paper by Sadok Ben Dkhil, Martin Pfannmöller, Sara Bals, Tomoyuki Koganezawa, Noriyuki Yoshimoto, Driss Hannani, Meriem Gaceur, Christine Videlot‐Ackermann, Olivier Margeat, Jörg Ackermann

Indexed on: 04 May '16Published on: 01 Apr '16Published in: Advanced Energy Materials


Organic solar cells based on two benzodithiophene‐based polymers (PTB7 and PTB7‐Th) processed at square centimeter‐size under inert atmosphere and ambient air, respectively, are investigated. It is demonstrated that the performance of solar cells processed under inert atmosphere is not limited by the upscaling of photoactive layer and the interfacial layers. Thorough morphological and electrical characterizations of optimized layers and corresponding devices reveal that performance losses due to area enlargement are only caused by the sheet resistance of the transparent electrode reducing the efficiency from 9.3% of 7.8% for PTB7‐Th in the condition that both photoactive layer and the interfacial layers are of high layer quality. Air processing of photoactive layer and the interfacial layers into centimeter‐sized solar cells lead to additional, but only slight, losses (<10%) in all photovoltaic parameters, which can be addressed to changes in the electronic properties of both active layer and ZnO layers rather than changes in layer morphology. The demonstrated compatibility of polymer solar cells using solution‐processed photoactive layer and interfacial layers with large area indicates that the introduction of a standard active area of 1 cm² for measuring efficiency of organic record solar cells is feasible. However electric standards for indium tin oxides (ITO) or alternative transparent electrodes need to be developed so that performance of new photovoltaic materials can be compared at square centimeter‐size.

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