Vertical Stratification Engineering of Insulating Poly(aryl ether)s Enables 18.6% Organic Solar Cells with Improved Stability

Jianhua Han, Han Xu, Sri Harish Kumar Paleti, Yuanfan Wen, Jianxiao Wang, Yuanwei Wu, Feng Bao, Chunming Yang, Xiangyu Li, Xigao Jian, Jinyan Wang, Safakath Karuthedath, Julien Gorenflot, Frédéric Laquai, Derya Baran, Xichang Bao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Control of the preferred vertical phase distribution of the components in the photoactive layer is of vital importance to improve the device performance and stability of organic photovoltaics (OPVs). Herein, a universal sequential-deposition strategy is demonstrated to realize optimal vertical phase distribution by employing orthogonal solvents and synergistically integrating ternary/quaternary compositions consisting of insulating heat-resistant poly(aryl ether)s as the third/fourth component in a photoactive layer. The selective segregation of poly(aryl ether)s in the middle of the active layer enhances molecular packing of the photovoltaic materials and improves the charge transport and extraction properties. A maximum efficiency of 18.6% is achieved for PM6:BTP-eC9:PC71BM:poly(aryl ether)-based quaternary solar cells, with photo/thermal stability that is better than that of devices without poly(aryl ether). This work provides an effective approach for achieving stable and efficient OPVs with expected topology by tuning molecular packing behaviors and the vertical segregation of multicomponents in photovoltaic layers.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2927-2936
Number of pages10
JournalACS Energy Letters
StatePublished - Aug 11 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-09-14
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-CARF/CCF-3079
Acknowledgements: The authors are grateful to the National Natural Science Foundation of China (22005324, 52073122, 51873227, and U1932118). J.W. thanks the Joint Research Fund Liaoning - Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science (2019JH3/30100026). J.H. acknowledges project ZR2020QE082 supported by Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation, the Shandong Provincial Post-Doctoral Foundation, and the Opening Foundation of Key Laboratory of Laser & Infrared System (Shandong University), Ministry of Education. X.B. acknoledges project SEIS202108 supported by Shandong Energy Institute. The authors also thank beamline BL16B1 of Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility for providing beam time. We acknowledge the use of KAUST Solar Center and thank D. R. Villalva and Y. Zhang for performing the AFM measurements. D.B., J.G., and J.H. acknowledge support by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under Award No. OSR-CARF/CCF-3079.


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