Energy level alignment and morphology of Ag and Au nanoparticle recombination contacts in tandem planar heterojunction solar cells

K. Xerxes Steirer, Gordon A. Macdonald, Selina Olthof, Jeremy Gantz, Erin L Ratcliff, Antoine Kahn, Neal R Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

We present the interface characterization of vacuum-deposited metal nanoparticle recombination layers (Ag, Au; 1 nm equivalent thickness) at donor/acceptor heterojunctions comprising copper phthalocyanine (CuPc) and C60 as model interfaces for tandem planar heterojunction organic photovoltaics (TOPVs). We compare the extent to which voltage doubling occurs using these two metal recombination contacts (RC) in TOPVs (ITO/CuPc/C 60/(Ag,Au)/CuPc/C60/BCP/Al) and correlate the differences with energetic dissimilarities revealed by UV-photoemission (UPS) and inverse photoemission (IPES) spectroscopies, and morphology as revealed by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). Ag interlayer RCs produce the expected voltage doubling in the open-circuit voltage (VOC) for the TOPV, whereas Au RCs showed poor voltage addition. Significant shifts in ionization potential and electron affinity and shifts in local work function were observed for C60/metal heterojunctions and for heterojunctions based on C60/metal/C60 and for C 60/metal/CuPc, with clear evidence for partial charge redistribution between C60 and Ag nanoparticles. AFM and FE-SEM images revealed discrete Ag nanoparticles at the C60 interface, whereas Au/C 60 heterojunctions consisted of more uniform Au thin films that wet the C60 surface and penetrated below the surface. These studies point to the need for careful control of both electronic and morphological properties of thin RCs in emerging tandem organic solar cell technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22331-22340
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Volume117
Issue number43
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 31 2013

Fingerprint

Electron energy levels
Heterojunctions
heterojunctions
Solar cells
solar cells
energy levels
alignment
Nanoparticles
nanoparticles
Metals
metals
Field emission
field emission
Atomic force microscopy
Electric potential
electric potential
photoelectric emission
atomic force microscopy
Electron affinity
Scanning electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Energy(all)

Cite this

Energy level alignment and morphology of Ag and Au nanoparticle recombination contacts in tandem planar heterojunction solar cells. / Steirer, K. Xerxes; Macdonald, Gordon A.; Olthof, Selina; Gantz, Jeremy; Ratcliff, Erin L; Kahn, Antoine; Armstrong, Neal R.

In: Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol. 117, No. 43, 31.10.2013, p. 22331-22340.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Steirer, K. Xerxes ; Macdonald, Gordon A. ; Olthof, Selina ; Gantz, Jeremy ; Ratcliff, Erin L ; Kahn, Antoine ; Armstrong, Neal R. / Energy level alignment and morphology of Ag and Au nanoparticle recombination contacts in tandem planar heterojunction solar cells. In: Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 2013 ; Vol. 117, No. 43. pp. 22331-22340.
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