High Mobility Indium Oxide Electron Transport Layer for an Efficient Charge Extraction and Optimized Nanomorphology in Organic Photovoltaics

Wenchao Huang, Bowen Zhu, Sheng-Yung Chang, Shuanglin Zhu, Pei Cheng, Yao-Tsung Hsieh, Lei Meng, Rui Wang, Chaochen Wang, Chenhui Zhu, Christopher McNeill, Mingkui Wang, Yang Yang

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The electron transport layer (ETL) plays an important role in determining the device efficiency of organic solar cells (OSCs). A rational design of an ETL for OSCs targets high charge extraction and induction of an optimized active layer morphology. In this Letter, a high mobility In2O3 synthesized via a solution-processed combustion reaction is successfully used as a universal ETL in an organic photovoltaic device. With the modification of a thin layer of polyethylenimine ethoxylated (PEIE), a device based on crystalline In2O3 outperforms its counterpart, ZnO, in both PBDTTT-EFT-based fullerene and nonfullerene systems. As ZnO is replaced by In2O3, the average efficiency increases from 9.5% to 10.5% for PBDTTT-EFT-PC71BM fullerene-based organic solar cells and also increases from 10.8% to 11.5% for PBDTTT-EFT-IEICO-4F nonfullerene-based organic solar cells, respectively. Morphological studies have unraveled the fact that the crystalline In2O3 ETL with highly aligned nanocrystallites has induced the crystallization of polymer into a preferential molecular packing that favors the charge transport across an active layer. From the photophysical study, it is found that charge extraction in the crystalline In2O3 device is significantly faster than in the ZnO device due to the higher mobility of In2O3 and optimized nanomorphology of the active layer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5805-5811
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2018


  • charge extraction
  • electron transport layer
  • indium oxide
  • morphology
  • Organic solar cells

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