Facile Synthesis of an Efficient and Robust Cathode Interface Material for Polymer Solar Cells

Carl Jonas Mattiasson Bjuggren, Anirudh Sharma, Desta Antenehe Gedefaw, Sait Elmas, Caroline Pan, Bradley Kirk, Xianyuan Zhao, Gunther Andersson, Mats R. Andersson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, an alcohol soluble novel naphthalene diimide (NDI)-thiophene-based cathode interface layer (CIL), PNDIT10N, is reported. PNDIT10N was synthesized in a facile three-step method, processed from environmentally friendly benzyl alcohol (BnOH) and employed in inverted polymer solar cells (PSCs). The three polymer donors TQ1, PTNT, and PTB7-Th were paired with the fullerene acceptor PC 71 BM for bulk heterojunction (BHJ) layers to evaluate the CIL. The modification of the indium tin oxide (ITO) electrode with a ∼3 nm thin layer of PNDIT10N yielded a significant reduction of 0.8 eV in the work function, reducing it from 4.6 to 3.8 eV, effectively transforming ITO to a functioning cathode. PSCs with a TQ1/PC 71 BM BHJ layer and incorporating a PNDIT10N interlayer were found to have a high J sc value of 10.5 mA cm -2 , V oc value of 909 mV, and an FF value of 68%, resulting in the highest PCE of 6.7% for TQ1 donor in the inverted device structure. Of note, the interface layer showed a good stability in ambient atmosphere for a 10 d indoor aging period, both in darkness and exposed to direct sunlight. Additionally, flexible PSCs incorporating slot-die coated PNDIT10N, processed from a BnOH-acetone solution, and BHJ layer in air achieved a PCE of 1.6%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7130-7139
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Issue number12
Early online date5 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2018


  • benzyl alcohol
  • cathode interface layer
  • conjugated polymer
  • green processing
  • naphthalene diimide
  • PCBM
  • polymer solar cells
  • TQ1


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