Polymer solar cells with efficiency >10% enabled via a facile solution-processed Al-doped ZnO electron transporting layer

Lethy Krishnan Jagadamma, Mohammed Al-Senani, Abdulrahman El-Labban, Issam Gereige, Guy O. Ngongang Ndjawa, Jorge C. D. Faria, Taesoo Kim, Kui Zhao, Federico Cruciani, Dalaver H. Anjum, Martyn A. McLachlan, Pierre M. Beaujuge, Aram Amassian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Citations (Scopus)


A facile and low-temperature (125 °C) solution-processed Al-doped ZnO (AZO) buffer layer functioning very effectively as electron accepting/hole blocking layer for a wide range of polymer:fullerene bulk heterojunction systems, yielding power conversion efficiency in excess of 10% (8%) on glass (plastic) substrates is described. The ammonia-treatment of the aqueous AZO nanoparticle solution produces compact, crystalline, and smooth thin films, which retain the aluminum doping, and eliminates/reduces the native defects by nitrogen incorporation, making them good electron transporters and energetically matched with the fullerene acceptor. It is demonstrated that highly efficient solar cells can be achieved without the need for additional surface chemical modifications of the buffer layer, which is a common requirement for many metal oxide buffer layers to yield efficient solar cells. Also highly efficient solar cells are achieved with thick AZO films (>50 nm), highlighting the suitability of this material for roll-to-roll coating. Preliminary results on the applicability of AZO as electron injection layer in F8BT-based polymer light emitting diode are also presented.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1500204
Number of pages12
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number12
Early online date22 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2015


  • Al-doped ZnO
  • Organic solar cells
  • Electron transporting layers
  • Flexible solar cells
  • Solution processing


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