Chemical analysis of the interface in bulk-heterojunction solar cells by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy depth profiling

Yan Busby, Emil J W List-Kratochvil, Jean-Jacques Pireaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Despite the wide use of blends combining an organic p-type polymer and molecular fullerene-based electron acceptor, the proper characterization of such bulk heterojunction materials is still challenging. To highlight structure-to-function relations and improve the device performance, advanced tools and strategies need to be developed to characterize composition and interfaces with sufficient accuracy. In this work, high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is combined with very low energy argon ion beam sputtering to perform a nondestructive depth profile chemical analysis on full Al/P3HT:PCBM/PEDOT:PSS/ITO (P3HT, poly(3-hexylthiophene); PCBM, [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester; PEDOT, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene; PSS, polystyrenesulfonate; ITO, indium tin oxide) bulk-heterojunction solar cell device stacks. Key information, such as P3HT and PCBM composition profiles and Al-PCBM chemical bonding, are deduced in this basic device structure. The interface chemical analysis allows us to evidence, with unprecedented accuracy, the inhomogeneous distribution of PCBM, characterized by a strong segregation toward the top metal electrode. The chemical analysis highresolution spectra allows us to reconstruct P3HT/PCBM ratio through the active layer depth and correlate with the device deposition protocol and performance. Results evidence an inhomogeneous P3HT/PCBM ratio and poorly controllable PCBM migration, which possibly explains the limited light-to-power conversion efficiency in this basic device structure. The work illustrates the high potential of XPS depth profile analysis for studying such organic/inorganic device stacks.

Translated title of the contributionAnalyse chimique des interface dans des cellules solaires à hétérojonction bulk par profilage XPS
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3842-3848
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Fingerprint

Depth profiling
Heterojunctions
Solar cells
X ray photoelectron spectroscopy
Chemical analysis
Fullerenes
Butyric acid
Argon
Tin oxides
Indium
Ion beams
Conversion efficiency
Sputtering
Esters
Polymers
Metals
Electrodes
Electrons

Keywords

  • Bulk heterojunction
  • Chemical analysis
  • Depth profile
  • Low-energy ion beams
  • P3HT:PCBM
  • Solar cells
  • XPS

Cite this

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title = "Chemical analysis of the interface in bulk-heterojunction solar cells by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy depth profiling",
abstract = "Despite the wide use of blends combining an organic p-type polymer and molecular fullerene-based electron acceptor, the proper characterization of such bulk heterojunction materials is still challenging. To highlight structure-to-function relations and improve the device performance, advanced tools and strategies need to be developed to characterize composition and interfaces with sufficient accuracy. In this work, high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is combined with very low energy argon ion beam sputtering to perform a nondestructive depth profile chemical analysis on full Al/P3HT:PCBM/PEDOT:PSS/ITO (P3HT, poly(3-hexylthiophene); PCBM, [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester; PEDOT, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene; PSS, polystyrenesulfonate; ITO, indium tin oxide) bulk-heterojunction solar cell device stacks. Key information, such as P3HT and PCBM composition profiles and Al-PCBM chemical bonding, are deduced in this basic device structure. The interface chemical analysis allows us to evidence, with unprecedented accuracy, the inhomogeneous distribution of PCBM, characterized by a strong segregation toward the top metal electrode. The chemical analysis highresolution spectra allows us to reconstruct P3HT/PCBM ratio through the active layer depth and correlate with the device deposition protocol and performance. Results evidence an inhomogeneous P3HT/PCBM ratio and poorly controllable PCBM migration, which possibly explains the limited light-to-power conversion efficiency in this basic device structure. The work illustrates the high potential of XPS depth profile analysis for studying such organic/inorganic device stacks.",
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Chemical analysis of the interface in bulk-heterojunction solar cells by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy depth profiling. / Busby, Yan; List-Kratochvil, Emil J W; Pireaux, Jean-Jacques.

In: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Vol. 9, No. 4, 01.02.2017, p. 3842-3848.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Chemical analysis of the interface in bulk-heterojunction solar cells by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy depth profiling

AU - Busby, Yan

AU - List-Kratochvil, Emil J W

AU - Pireaux, Jean-Jacques

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AB - Despite the wide use of blends combining an organic p-type polymer and molecular fullerene-based electron acceptor, the proper characterization of such bulk heterojunction materials is still challenging. To highlight structure-to-function relations and improve the device performance, advanced tools and strategies need to be developed to characterize composition and interfaces with sufficient accuracy. In this work, high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is combined with very low energy argon ion beam sputtering to perform a nondestructive depth profile chemical analysis on full Al/P3HT:PCBM/PEDOT:PSS/ITO (P3HT, poly(3-hexylthiophene); PCBM, [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester; PEDOT, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene; PSS, polystyrenesulfonate; ITO, indium tin oxide) bulk-heterojunction solar cell device stacks. Key information, such as P3HT and PCBM composition profiles and Al-PCBM chemical bonding, are deduced in this basic device structure. The interface chemical analysis allows us to evidence, with unprecedented accuracy, the inhomogeneous distribution of PCBM, characterized by a strong segregation toward the top metal electrode. The chemical analysis highresolution spectra allows us to reconstruct P3HT/PCBM ratio through the active layer depth and correlate with the device deposition protocol and performance. Results evidence an inhomogeneous P3HT/PCBM ratio and poorly controllable PCBM migration, which possibly explains the limited light-to-power conversion efficiency in this basic device structure. The work illustrates the high potential of XPS depth profile analysis for studying such organic/inorganic device stacks.

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