Improving power conversion efficiency and device performance stability is the most critical challenge in polymer solar cells for fulfilling their applications in industry at large scale. Various methodologies have been developed for realizing this goal, among them interfacial layer engineering has shown great success, which can optimize the electrical contacts between active layers and electrodes and lead to enhanced charge transport and collection. Interfacial layers also show profound impacts on light absorption and optical distribution of solar irradiation in the active layer and film morphology of the subsequently deposited active layer due to the accompanied surface energy change. Interfacial layer engineering enables the use of high work function metal electrodes without sacrificing device performance, which in combination with the favored kinetic barriers against water and oxygen penetration leads to polymer solar cells with enhanced performance stability. This review provides an overview of the recent progress of different types of interfacial layer materials, including polymers, small molecules, graphene oxides, fullerene derivatives, and metal oxides. Device performance enhancement of the resulting solar cells will be elucidated and the function and operation mechanism of the interfacial layers will be discussed.
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