Role of organic interfacial modifiers in inverted polymers solar cells: An in-depth analysis of perylene vs fullerene organic modifiers

S. Kumar, D. Panigrahi, A. Dhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Interfacial issues can significantly restrict the performance of photovoltaic devices by exacerbating the charge recombination channels, macroscopic phase separation, and providing a non-ideal contact for selective extraction of charges particularly in photovoltaic devices using organic and inorganic materials together. Organic interfacial modifiers (IMs) are often used to mitigate these issues by modifying the organic-inorganic interface. In order to extricate the role of these IMs on the photovoltaic performance we have made a comprehensive study on the application of perylene-based and fullerene small molecules having different molecular origin as organic IMs on ZnO electron extracting layers in inverted BHJs photovoltaic devices. We report an elaborate study on the electronic and surface altering properties of these IMs and correlated their effect on the different PV performance parameters of the inverted BHJ solar cells employing P3HT: PCBM photoactive layer. Our investigations demonstrate the role of these organic IMs in reducing the ZnO cathode work function and increasing its electron transportation property along with the passivation of superficial traps states present on ZnO which helps in selective extraction of charge carriers from the devices and minimize the recombination losses. These different aspects of IMs compete and their balanced effect decides the final outcome. As a result, we obtain a substantial improvement in the device performance with power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 3.0% for the C 70 /ZnO cathode device which shows over 60% improvement in contrast to the devices without any ZnO surface modification. The present investigation intents to exhibit the feasibility of vacuum sublimated organic small molecules in performance improvement in BHJ solar cells utilizing the ZnO ETLs and contrast their efficacy for the purpose rather than setting any benchmark device performance although the efficiencies obtained are typical for the active layer used in the study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-862
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Surface Science
StatePublished - 30 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Bulk heterojunction
  • Interface
  • Solar cell


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of organic interfacial modifiers in inverted polymers solar cells: An in-depth analysis of perylene vs fullerene organic modifiers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this