Skip to main content

Indium tin oxide modified by titanium dioxide nanoparticles dispersed in poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) for use as an electron-collecting layer in organic solar cells with an inverted structure

  • Jae Won Shim (a1), Hyeunseok Cheun (a1), Amir Dindar (a1), Yunsang Kim (a2), Yinhua Zhou (a3), Canek Fuentes-Hernandez (a3), Do-Kyung Hwang (a3), Joseph W. Perry (a4) and Bernard Kippelen (a5)...

We report on the photovoltaic properties of polymer solar cells with an inverted structure wherein the electron-collecting electrode comprises an indium tin oxide (ITO) electrode coated with titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles dispersed into poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP). The optimization of performance of polymer solar cells in which the TiO2 concentration in PVP was varied is presented. Pristine solar cells with the TiO2:PVP-coated ITO electrodes showed S-shape current-voltage characteristics. The S-shaped feature disappeared after the continuous exposure of the solar cells to light from an AM 1.5G solar simulator, leading to an improved device performance compared with solar cells that use an ITO or ITO/TiO2 electron-collecting electrodes.

Corresponding author
a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail:
Hide All
1.Kippelen, B. and Bredas, J.L.: Organic photovoltaics. Energy Environ. Sci. 2(3), 251 (2009).
2.Zhou, Y.H., Cheun, H., Potscavage, W.J., Fuentes-Hernandez, C., Kim, S.J., and Kippelen, B.: Inverted organic solar cells with ITO electrodes modified with an ultrathin Al(2)O(3) buffer layer deposited by atomic layer deposition. J. Mater. Chem. 20(29), 6189 (2010).
3.Cheun, H., Fuentes-Hernandez, C., Zhou, Y.H., Potscavage, W.J., Kim, S.J., Shim, J., Dindar, A., and Kippelen, B.: Electrical and optical properties of ZnO processed by atomic layer deposition in inverted polymer solar cells. J. Phys. Chem. C 114(48), 20713 (2010).
4.Dou, L.T., You, J.B., Yang, J., Chen, C.C., He, Y.J., Murase, S., Moriarty, T., Emery, K., Li, G., and Yang, Y.: Tandem polymer solar cells featuring a spectrally matched low band-gap polymer. Nat. Photonics 6(3), 180 (2012).
5.Zhou, H.X., Yang, L.Q., and You, W.: Rational design of high performance conjugated polymers for organic solar cells. Macromolecules 45(2), 607 (2012).
6.Jorgensen, M., Norrman, K., and Krebs, F.C.: Stability/degradation of polymer solar cells. Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 92(7), 686 (2008).
7.Waldauf, C., Morana, M., Denk, P., Schilinsky, P., Coakley, K., Choulis, S.A., and Brabec, C.J.: Highly efficient inverted organic photovoltaics using solution based titanium oxide as electron selective contact. Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(23), 233517 (2006).
8.Li, C-Y., Wen, T-C., Lee, T-H., Guo, T-F., Huang, J-C-A., Lin, Y-C., and Hsu, Y-J.: An inverted polymer photovoltaic cell with increased air stability obtained by employing novel hole/electron-collecting layers. J. Mater. Chem. 19(11), 1643 (2009).
9.Kuwabara, T., Sugiyama, H., Kuzuba, M., Yamaguchi, T., and Takahashi, K.: Inverted bulk heterojunction organic solar cell using chemical bath deposited titanium oxide as electron collection layer. Org. Electron. 11(6), 1136 (2010).
10.Kim, C.S., Lee, S.S., Gomez, E.D., Kim, J.B., and Loo, Y.L.: Transient photovoltaic behavior of air-stable, inverted organic solar cells with solution-processed electron transport layer. Appl. Phys. Lett. 94(11), 113302 (2009).
11.Schmidt, H., Zilberberg, K., Schmale, S., Flugge, H., Riedl, T., and Kowalsky, W.: Transient characteristics of inverted polymer solar cells using titanium oxide interlayers. Appl. Phys. Lett. 96(24), 243305 (2010).
12.Steim, R., Choulis, S.A., Schilinsky, P., and Brabec, C.J.: Interface modification for highly efficient organic photovoltaics. Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(9), 093303 (2008).
13.Liao, H.H., Chen, L.M., Xu, Z., Li, G., and Yang, Y.: Highly efficient inverted polymer solar cell by low temperature annealing of Cs2CO3 interlayer. Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(17), 173303 (2008).
14.Dai, S., Weng, J., Sui, Y.F., Shi, C.W., Huang, Y., Chen, S.H., Pan, X., Fang, X.Q., Hu, L.H., Kong, F.T., and Wang, K.J.: Dye-sensitized solar cells, from cell to module. Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 84(1–4), 125 (2004).
15.Karthick, S.N., Prabakar, K., Subramania, A., Hong, J.T., Jang, J.J., and Kim, H.J.: Formation of anatase TiO(2) nanoparticles by simple polymer gel technique and their properties. Powder Technol. 205(1–3), 36 (2011).
16.Park, M.H., Li, J.H., Kumar, A., Li, G., and Yang, Y.: Doping of the metal oxide nanostructure and its influence in organic electronics. Adv. Funct. Mater. 19(8), 1241 (2009).
17.Small, C.E., Chen, S., Subbiah, J., Amb, C.M., Tsang, S.W., Lai, T.H., Reynolds, J.R., and So, F.: High-efficiency inverted dithienogermole-thienopyrrolodione-based polymer solar cells. Nat. Photonics 6(2), 115 (2012).
18.Hassouna, F., Therias, S., Mailhot, G., and Gardette, J.L.: Photooxidation of poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) in the solid state and in aqueous solution. Polym. Degrad. Stab. 94(12), 2257 (2009).
19.Chaimberg, M., Parnas, R., and Cohen, Y.: Graft-polymerization of polyvinylpyrrolidone onto silica. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 37(10), 2921 (1989).
20.Zheng, M.P., Jin, Y.P., Jin, G.L., and Gu, M.Y.: Characterization of TiO2-PVP nanocomposites prepared by the sol-gel method. J. Mater. Sci. Lett. 19(5), 433 (2000).
21.Zheng, M.P., Gu, M.Y., Jin, Y.P., Wang, H.H., Zu, P.F., Tao, T., and He, J.B.: Effects of PVP on structure of TiO2 prepared by the sol-gel process. Mater. Sci. Eng., B 87(2), 197 (2001).
22.Kamiya, H. and Iijima, M.: Surface modification and characterization for dispersion stability of inorganic nanometer-scaled particles in liquid media. Sci. Technol. Adv. Mater. 11(4), 044304 (2010).
23.Kamiya, H., Fukuda, Y., Suzuki, Y., Tsukada, M., Kakui, T., and Naito, H.: Effect of polymer dispersant structure on electrosteric interaction and dense alumina suspension behavior. J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 82(12), 3407 (1999).
24.Olivier, J., Servant, B., Vergnolle, M., Mosca, M., and Garry, G.: Stability/instability of conductivity and work function changes of ITO thin films, UV-irradiated in air or vacuum - Measurements by the four-probe method and by Kelvin force microscopy. Synth. Met. 122(1), 87 (2001).
25.Wang, J.C., Lu, C.Y., Hsu, J.L., Lee, M.K., Hong, Y.R., Perng, T.P., Horng, S.F., and Meng, H.F.: Efficient inverted organic solar cells without an electron selective layer. J. Mater. Chem. 21(15), 5723 (2011).
26.Wagenpfahl, A., Rauh, D., Binder, M., Deibel, C., and Dyakonov, V.: S-shaped current-voltage characteristics of organic solar devices. Phys. Rev. B 82(11), 115306 (2010).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Materials Research
  • ISSN: 0884-2914
  • EISSN: 2044-5326
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-materials-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 24 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 135 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd March 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.