Trace Solvent Additives Enhance Charge Generation in Layer-by-Layer Coated Organic Solar Cells

Safakath Karuthedath, Yuliar Firdaus, Alberto D. Scaccabarozzi, Mohamad Insan Nugraha, Shahidul Alam, Thomas D. Anthopoulos, Frédéric Laquai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In bulk heterojunction (BHJ) organic solar cells (OSC), the photoactive layer morphology controls charge carrier generation, transport, and extraction. Obtaining the ‘optimum’ morphology is often achieved by empiric optimization of processing conditions and post-processing treatment. Better control over the morphology can be achieved by sequential photoactive layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition techniques, creating a pseudo-bilayer OSC. Solvent additives can be used to modify the vertical component distribution, thereby enhancing OSC efficiency. However, the impact of solvent additives on device photophysics is often unclear. Here, the photophysics of LbL-coated PM6/Y6 organic solar cells are reported. Enhanced PCEs are observed when using 1-chloronaphthalene (CN) as solvent additive. Transient absorption (TA) spectroscopy indicates that the addition of 0.5% CN facilitates both exciton dissociation and charge separation, while excessive (>1%) use of CN causes fast geminate and non-geminate charge recombination and consequently deteriorates device performance. The results outline routes to fine-tune the morphology of LbL-coated photoactive layers of OSCs and provide insight into the reasons for increased PCEs.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSmall Structures
StatePublished - Feb 9 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-02-11
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2019-CARF/CCF-3079, OSR-CRG2018-3746
Acknowledgements: This publication is based on work supported by the KAUST Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under award numbers OSR-2019-CARF/CCF-3079and OSR-CRG2018-3746.GIWAXS experiments were performed at BL11 NCD-SWEET beamlineat ALBA Synchrotron (Spain) with the collaboration of ALBA staff.


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