Organic Amines as Targeting Stabilizer at the Polymer/Fullerene Interface for Polymer:PC61BM Solar Cells

Zerui Li, Lingpeng Yan, Jiankai Shan, Huimin Gu, Yi Lin, Yaling Wang, Hongwei Tan, Chang Qi Ma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Herein, it is demonstrated that a small amount (0.05% in weight ratio) of polyethyleneimine (PEI) can effectively suppress the “burn-in” degradation of both PTB7-Th:PC61BM and P3HT:PC61BM cells, similar to the piperazine derivatives, suggesting that organic amines can serve as universal stabilizer in polymer:PC61BM solar cells. Light-induced electron spin resonance (LESR) spectroscopy measurement shows a higher ESR signal intensity of PC61BM anions in 0.2% PEI-doped film than in 1% piperazine-doped film. Moreover, no piperazine is detected in a 10% (w/w) piperazine-doped film by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GSMS). These results suggest that the residual piperazine in the blend film is very low, which can be understood by the high volatility of piperazine. Quantum calculations are performed on the intermolecular binding energy (EB) between polymer (using model repeating units), PC61BM, and piperazine molecules. Results reveal that piperazine prefers to localize at the polymer:fullerene interface by complexing with PC61BM (in P3HT:PC61BM) or PTB7-Th (in PTB7-Th:PC61BM system), which indicates that the photo dimerization of PC61BM which causes the “burn-in” degradation of polymer:fullerene solar cells mainly happens at the donor/acceptor interface, and the organic amine serves as the targeting stabilizer at the interface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000266
JournalEnergy Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • organic amines
  • polymer solar cells
  • quantum calculations
  • stabilizers

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