A Nonionic Alcohol Soluble Polymer Cathode Interlayer Enables Efficient Organic and Perovskite Solar Cells

Anirudh Sharma, Saumya Singh, Xin Song, Diego Rosas Villalva, Joel Troughton, Daniel Alejandro Corzo Diaz, Levent Toppare, Gorkem Gunbas, Bob C. Schroeder, Derya Baran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The choice of interfacial materials and their properties play a critical role in determining solar cell performance and stability. For compatibility with roll-to-roll printing, it is desirable to develop stable cathode interface layers (CILs) that can be processed over the photoactive layer using orthogonal solvents. In this study, an n-type naphthalene diimide core and oligo (ethylene glycol) side-chain-based conjugated polymer is reported as a universal, efficient CIL for organic and perovskite photovoltaics. Besides good thermal stability and easy processing in alcohol/water, the new CIL is found to possess electron transport properties with an electrical conductivity of 2.3 × 10–6 S cm–1, enabling its use as a CIL with a film thickness of up to ∼35(±2) nm. Utilizing the new CIL, 16% power conversion efficiency (PCE) is achieved for organic solar cells (OSCs) based on the PM6-Y6 photoactive layer (8.9% PCE for no CIL and 15.1% with state-of-the-art CIL, PDINO), and perovskite solar cells from methylammonium lead iodide yielded a PCE of 17.6%. Compared to the reference devices, the new CIL reduced trap-assisted carrier recombination and increased the built-in potential by 80 mV, simultaneously enhancing all photovoltaic parameters. Moreover, new CIL based devices had better photostability with no burn-in losses.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChemistry of Materials
StatePublished - Jul 19 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-07-29
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2019-CARF/CCF-3079, OSRCRG2018-3737
Acknowledgements: This publication is based upon work supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under Award No: OSR2018-KAUST-KAU Initiative-3902, OSRCRG2018-3737, OSR-2019-CARF/CCF-3079, TUBITAK 2551 Program (216Z139), and British Council Newton Fund Institutional Links (ref: 337067). B.C.S. acknowledges the UK Research
and Innovation for Future Leaders Fellowship no. MR/ S031952/1.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Chemistry


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