The effect of anneal, solar irradiation and humidity on the adhesion/cohesion properties of P3HT:PCBM based inverted polymer solar cells

Stephanie R. Dupont, Eszter Voroshazi, Paul Heremans, Reinhold H. Dauskardt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

25 Scopus citations


We use a thin-film adhesion technique that enables us to precisely measure the energy required to separate adjacent layers in OPV cells. We demonstrate the presence of weak interfaces in prototypical inverted polymer solar cells, either prepared by spin, spray or slot-die coating, including flexible and non flexible solar cells. In all cases, we observed adhesive failure at P3HT:PCBM/PEDOT:PSS interface, indicating the intrinsic material dependence of this mechanism. The impact of temperature, solar irradiation and humidity on the adhesion and cohesion properties of this particular interface is discussed. First, we have found that post-deposition annealing increases the adhesion significantly. Annealing changes the morphology in the photoactive layer and consequently alters the chemical properties at the interface. Second, solar irradiation on fully encapsulated solar cells has no damaging but in contrast an enhancing effect on the adhesion properties, due to the heat generated from IR radiation. Finally, the synergetic effect of stress and an environmental species like moisture greatly accelerates the decohesion rate in the weak hygroscopic PEDOT:PSS layer. This results in a loss of mechanical integrity and device performance. The insight into the mechanisms of delamination and decohesion yields general guidelines for the design of more reliable organic electronic devices. © 2012 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2012 38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781467300667
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1–015-21
Acknowledgements: We acknowledge C. Girotto for his assistance with the spray-coated sample preparation. This research was supported by the Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics (CAMP) supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) under award no. KUS-C1–015-21.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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