Overcoming Moisture-induced Degradation in Organic Solar Cells

Josua Wachsmuth, Andreas Distler, Dargie Deribew, Michael Salvador, Christoph J. Brabec, Hans-Joachim Egelhaaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Unencapsulated organic solar cells are prone to severe performance losses in the presence of moisture. We present accelerated damp heat (85 oC/85% RH) studies and show that the hygroscopic hole-transporting PEDOT:PSS layer is the origin of device failure in the case of prototypical inverted solar cells. Complementary measurements unveil that under these conditions a decreased PEDOT:PSS work function along with areas of reduced electrical contact between active layer and hole-transport layer are the main factors for device degradation rather than a chemical reaction of water with the active layer. We further explore replacements for PEDOT:PSS and find that tungsten oxide (WO3) or phosphomolybdic acid (PMA) – materials that can be processed from benign solvents at room temperature – yield comparable performance as PEDOT:PSS and enhance the resilience of solar cells under damp heat. The stability trend follows the order PEDOT:PSS
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvanced Engineering Materials
StatePublished - May 11 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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