Correlation of Changes in Electronic and Device Properties in Organic Photovoltaic with Exposure to Air

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In polymer-based organic photovoltaic cells, the capability of charge extraction/injection of molybdenum trioxide (MoO3) is demonstrated as interface layer for polymer bulk heterojunction (BHJ). The present work determines the dipole formed at the MoO3 and conjugated poly [2,3-bis (3-octyloxyphenyl) quinoxaline-5,8-diyl-alt-thiophene-2,5-diyl] (TQ1):(6,6)-Phenyl C71 butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM) bulk heterojunction interface. This dipole has a major influence on the charge transport across the TQ1:PC71BM interface. The formation of the dipole is determined with electron spectroscopy and the depth profiling technique neutral impact collision ion scattering spectroscopy. Metastable induced electron and UV-photoelectron spectroscopy is applied to determine the enclosed surface coverage of minimum 1.5 nm MoO3 and a maximized dipole strength of 2.4 eV with >2 nm MoO3 deposition on BHJ. It is also demonstrated that the air exposure reduces the dipole at the interface and leads to a decrease in cell performance providing evidence that the dipole formed at the interface is beneficial for the functioning of photovoltaic cells. The results indicate that the reduction in dipole might not be the only mechanism leading to cell performance degradation. The findings of the present work have relevance for other BHJ systems because MoO3 as high work function material is likely to interact with other organic materials in a similar way.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2101657
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
Issue number24
Early online date20 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2021


  • air exposure
  • bulk heterojunction
  • interface dipole
  • MoO
  • organic photovoltaics


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