Conventional electrode structures for organic electronics often rely on interlayers to enhance the efficiency at inorganic electrodes. In this project, we propose to implement improved electrodes in organic solar cells by introducing solution processed LiF interlayers. The performance of devices would be compared with state- of-the-art production devices. A potential increase of performance of 1-2 % with substantial decrease in production costs may be possible. As effective charge balance is a critical component of device operation, optimization of one interface can be changed by modifications at the counter-electrode, so we propose to modify both interfaces in a controlled and systematic way.
Recent work on surface modification of indium tin oxide suggests that solution processed LiF can be used to tune the surface work function. LiF has been known to improve device efficiency, although the exact mechanism is still intensely debated. To realize the most effective electrode structure for solar cells, structured layers of solution-processed LiF nanoparticles would be investigated and compared with conventional structures. At the optimal thicknesses for device performance, thermal evaporated LiF forms nanoparticles on organic surfaces. Solution processing would allow controlled assembly of the LiF dispersion on the organic surface, thereby enabling studies of the nanostructured electrode/organic interface on performance. Systematically changing the surface with arrays of nanoparticles would also facilitate a relation between the effects of roughness and electronic properties and device performance.
The overall objective of this research plan is to produce alternative electrodes, with a high degree of control over the nanoscale structure, for organic solar cells. Tailoring interfacial structure with improved charge extraction and prevention of detrimental interfacial quenching is a break through milestone on the road to commercialization of organic solar cell devices.
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