Annealing Effect On ZnO-NPs Buffer Layer Assembled Organic Solar Cells Synthesized With CuO Nanoparticles

Aruna P. Wanninayake, Benjamin C. Church, Nidal Abu-Zahra*

Materials Science and Engineering Department, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 3200 North Cramer Street, Milwaukee, WI 53201, USA

Adv. Mater. Lett., 2017, 8 (1), pp 08-12

DOI: 10.5185/amlett.2017.6485

Publication Date (Web): Nov 12, 2016



Organic solar cells were fabricated with varying amounts of ZnO-NPs in a buffer layer located over an active layer of P3HT/PCBM incorporating a fixed amount of CuO nanoparticles. The buffer layer serves as an electron transporting layer in the device. Thermal annealing treatment was applied to all the devices at different temperatures (150 oC, 200 oC and 250 oC) to optimize the nanoscale morphology. The samples which were annealed at 200 oC exhibited the best power conversion performance. The enhanced morphological and optoelectronic properties attained by applying thermal annealing increased the power conversion efficiency by 14.6% compared to a reference cell. The ZnO-NPs buffer layer improved the exciton dissociation rate, electron mobility, optical absorption and charge collection at the anode, resulting in higher short circuit currents and external quantum efficiencies. The short circuit current (Jsc) of the optimum device was measured at 8.949 mA/cm2 compared to 7.62 mA/cm2 in the reference cell before annealing. Meanwhile, the external quantum efficiency (EQE) increased from 61.8% to 62.9%, after thermal annealing.


ZnO nanoparticles, CuO nanoparticles, EQE, thermal annealing, PSCs, OSCs.

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