Burn-in Free Nonfullerene-Based Organic Solar Cells

Nicola Gasparini*, Michael Salvador, Sebastian Strohm, Thomas Heumueller, Ievgen Levchuk, Andrew Wadsworth, James H. Bannock, John C. de Mello, Hans Joachim Egelhaaf, Derya Baran, Iain McCulloch, Christoph J. Brabec

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

200 Scopus citations


Organic solar cells that are free of burn-in, the commonly observed rapid performance loss under light, are presented. The solar cells are based on poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) with varying molecular weights and a nonfullerene acceptor (rhodanine-benzothiadiazole-coupled indacenodithiophene, IDTBR) and are fabricated in air. P3HT:IDTBR solar cells light-soaked over the course of 2000 h lose about 5% of power conversion efficiency (PCE), in stark contrast to [6,6]-Phenyl C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM)-based solar cells whose PCE shows a burn-in that extends over several hundreds of hours and levels off at a loss of ≈34%. Replacing PCBM with IDTBR prevents short-circuit current losses due to fullerene dimerization and inhibits disorder-induced open-circuit voltage losses, indicating a very robust device operation that is insensitive to defect states. Small losses in fill factor over time are proposed to originate from polymer or interface defects. Finally, the combination of enhanced efficiency and stability in P3HT:IDTBR increases the lifetime energy yield by more than a factor of 10 when compared with the same type of devices using a fullerene-based acceptor instead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1700770
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 11 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • P3HT
  • degradation
  • light-soaking stability
  • nonfullerene acceptor
  • organic solar cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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