High power conversion efficiency (PCE) inverted organic photovoltaics (OPVs) usually use thermally evaporated MoO3 as a hole transporting layer (HTL). Despite the high PCE values reported, stability investigations are still limited and the exact degradation mechanisms of inverted OPVs using thermally evaporated MoO3 HTL remain unclear under different environmental stress factors. In this study, we monitor the accelerated lifetime performance under the ISOS-D-2 protocol (heat conditions 65 °C) of nonencapsulated inverted OPVs based on the thiophene-based active layer materials poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT), poly[[4,8-bis[(2-ethylhexyl)oxy]benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b′]dithiophene-2,6-diyl][3-fluoro-2-[(2-ethylhexyl)carbonyl]thieno[3,4-b]thiophenediyl]] (PTB7), and thieno[3,2-b]thiophene-diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPPTTT) blended with [6,6]-phenyl C71-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM). The presented investigation of degradation mechanisms focus on optimized P3HT:PCBM-based inverted OPVs. Specifically, we present a systematic study on the thermal stability of inverted P3HT:PCBM OPVs using solution-processed poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) and evaporated MoO3 HTL. Using a series of measurements and reverse engineering methods, we report that the P3HT:PCBM/MoO3 interface is the main origin of failure of the P3HT:PCBM-based inverted OPVs under intense heat conditions, a trend that is also observed for the other two thiophene-based polymers used in this study.
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