Photochemical stability of random poly(3-hexylthiophene-co-3-cyanothiophene) and its use in roll coated ITO-free organic photovoltaics

Bérenger Roth, Andrey E. Rudenko, Barry C. Thompson, Frederik C Krebs

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The photochemical stability of the active layer blend for organic solar cells was explored by introducing electron withdrawing cyano groups into the backbone of poly-3-hexylthiophene (P3HT). Random copolymerization of 2-bromo-3-hexyl-5-trimethylstannylthiophene and 2-bromo-3-cyano-5-trimethylstannylthiophene enabled introduction of the cyanogroups along the polythiophene backbone. The percentage of the cyano groups was 10%. The photochemical stability of poly(3-hexylthiophene-co-3-cyanothiophene) (CN-P3HT) was shown to be significantly better than pristine P3HT and the addition of CN-P3HT to P3HT also increased the photochemical stability of the blend. The photochemical stability of bulk heterojunction mixtures of the polymers and their blends with the fullerene phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester ([60]PCBM) were then studied and it was found that [60]PCBM had a significantly more stabilizing effect on P3HT than CN-P3HTand that the stabilization of the bulk heterojunction mixture was dominated by the fullerene. The mixture comprising both fullerene and CN-P3HT, however, demonstrated the highest degree of photochemical stability supporting earlier observations that the stabilizing effects are additive. Finally, the blends were explored in fully printed flexible ITOfree roll coated inverted devices (with an active area of 0.8 cm2) using two different back PEDOT: PSS electrode compositions and the operational stability of the devices was studied under ISOS-L- 2 conditions. The pure P3HT:PCBM devices were found to be the most stable in operation demonstrating that photochemical stability alone is not necessarily the dominant factor for overall device stability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number057205
JournalJournal of Photonics for Energy
Issue number1
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Active blend stabilization
  • Organic photovoltaic
  • Photochemical stability
  • Random copolymers
  • Roll-to-roll
  • Butyric acid
  • Conducting polymers
  • Copolymers
  • Fullerenes
  • Heterojunctions
  • Mixtures
  • Plastic coatings
  • Solar cells
  • Stability
  • Electrode composition
  • Operational stability
  • Organic photovoltaics
  • Poly-3-hexylthiophene
  • Random copolymer
  • Random copolymerization
  • Roll to Roll
  • Stabilization


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