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Energies 2018, 11(2), 328; doi:10.3390/en11020328

Efficient Polymer Solar Cells with Alcohol-Soluble Zirconium(IV) Isopropoxide Cathode Buffer Layer

State Key Laboratory of Alternate Electrical Power System with Renewable Energy Sources, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China
Department of Mathematics, Quiad-I-Azam University, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
NAAM Research Group, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 January 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 2 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Fundamentals and Conversion)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3650 KB, uploaded 2 February 2018]   |  


Interfacial materials are essential to the performance and stability of polymer solar cells (PSCs). Herein, solution-processed zirconium(IV) isopropoxide (Zr[OCH(CH3)2]4, ZrIPO) has been employed as an efficient cathode buffer layer between the Al cathode and photoactive layer. The ZrIPO buffer layer is prepared simply via spin-coating its isopropanol solution on the photoactive layer at room temperature without any post-treatment. When using ZrIPO/Al instead of the traditionally used Ca/Al cathode in PSCs, the short-circuit current density (Jsc) is significantly improved and the series resistance of the device is decreased. The power conversion efficiency (PCE) of the P3HT:PCBM-based device with ZrIPO buffer layer reaches 4.47% under the illumination of AM1.5G, 100 mW/cm2. A better performance with PCE of 8.07% is achieved when a low bandgap polymer PBDTBDD is selected as donor material. The results indicate that ZrIPO is a promising electron collection material as a substitute of the traditional low-work-function cathode for high performance PSCs. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymer solar cells; cathode buffer layer; zirconium(IV) isopropoxide polymer solar cells; cathode buffer layer; zirconium(IV) isopropoxide

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Luo, Z.; Yang, B.; Bai, Y.; Hayat, T.; Alsaedi, A.; Tan, Z. Efficient Polymer Solar Cells with Alcohol-Soluble Zirconium(IV) Isopropoxide Cathode Buffer Layer. Energies 2018, 11, 328.

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