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Traps and transport resistance are the next frontiers for stable non-fullerene acceptor solar cells

Wöpke, Christopher; Göhler, Clemens; Saladina, Maria; Du, Xiaoyan; Nian, Li; Greve, Christopher; Zhu, Chenhui; Yallum, Kaila M.; Hofstetter, Yvonne J.; Becker-Koch, David; Li, Ning; Heumüller, Thomas; Milekhin, Ilya; Zahn, Dietrich R.T.; Brabec, Christoph J.; Banerji, Natalie; Vaynzof, Yana; Herzig, Eva M.; MacKenzie, Roderick C.I.; Deibel, Carsten

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Christopher Wöpke

Clemens Göhler

Maria Saladina

Xiaoyan Du

Li Nian

Christopher Greve

Chenhui Zhu

Kaila M. Yallum

Yvonne J. Hofstetter

David Becker-Koch

Ning Li

Thomas Heumüller

Ilya Milekhin

Dietrich R.T. Zahn

Christoph J. Brabec

Natalie Banerji

Yana Vaynzof

Eva M. Herzig

Carsten Deibel


Stability is one of the most important challenges facing material research for organic solar cells (OSC) on their path to further commercialization. In the high-performance material system PM6:Y6 studied here, we investigate degradation mechanisms of inverted photovoltaic devices. We have identified two distinct degradation pathways: one requires the presence of both illumination and oxygen and features a short-circuit current reduction, the other one is induced thermally and marked by severe losses of open-circuit voltage and fill factor. We focus our investigation on the thermally accelerated degradation. Our findings show that bulk material properties and interfaces remain remarkably stable, however, aging-induced defect state formation in the active layer remains the primary cause of thermal degradation. The increased trap density leads to higher non-radiative recombination, which limits the open-circuit voltage and lowers the charge carrier mobility in the photoactive layer. Furthermore, we find the trap-induced transport resistance to be the major reason for the drop in fill factor. Our results suggest that device lifetimes could be significantly increased by marginally suppressing trap formation, leading to a bright future for OSC.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 14, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 1, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Jul 11, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jul 11, 2022
Journal Nature Communications
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 1
Article Number 3786
Public URL


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