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Electronics 2014, 3(1), 132-164; doi:10.3390/electronics3010132

Electron and Hole Transport Layers: Their Use in Inverted Bulk Heterojunction Polymer Solar Cells

Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica "Ennio de Giorgi", Università del Salento, via per Arnesano, Lecce 73100, Italy
Received: 8 January 2014 / Revised: 19 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 6 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Semiconductors)
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Abstract

Bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells (BHJ PSCs) are very promising organic-based devices for low-cost solar energy conversion, compatible with roll-to-roll or general printing methods for mass production. Nevertheless, to date, many issues should still be addressed, one of these being the poor stability in ambient conditions. One elegant way to overcome such an issue is the so-called “inverted” BHJ PSC, a device geometry in which the charge collection is reverted in comparison with the standard geometry device, i.e., the electrons are collected by the bottom electrode and the holes by the top electrode (in contact with air). This reverted geometry allows one to use a high work function top metal electrode, like silver or gold (thus avoiding its fast oxidation and degradation), and eliminates the need of a polymeric hole transport layer, typically of an acidic nature, on top of the transparent metal oxide bottom electrode. Moreover, this geometry is fully compatible with standard roll-to-roll manufacturing in air and is less demanding for a good post-production encapsulation process. To date, the external power conversion efficiencies of the inverted devices are generally comparable to their standard analogues, once both the electron transport layer and the hole transport layer are fully optimized for the particular device. Here, the most recent results on this particular optimization process will be reviewed, and a general outlook regarding the inverted BHJ PSC will be depicted.
Keywords: polymer solar cell; inverted bulk heterojunctions polymer solar cell; inverted bulk heterojunctions
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Lattante, S. Electron and Hole Transport Layers: Their Use in Inverted Bulk Heterojunction Polymer Solar Cells. Electronics 2014, 3, 132-164.

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