Degradation of Solar Cells Comprising both Organic and Inorganic Materials

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The organic photovoltaic (OPV) research field has made a remarkable advance in the past decades, evident by an impressive amount of work being published. Even though OPV research has come a long way since its beginning there is however still some way to go before commercialisation becomes a possibility. There are three main challenges in OPV research, efficiency, processability, and stability. These challenges have to be addressed both individually and, more importantly, in unification before commercialisation of OPVs can be realised.

This thesis primarily focuses on the challenge area of stability, more specifically the characterization of chemical degradation of both OPV devices and OPV materials. The secondary focus was on characterization in general of OPV devices and OPV materials. The characterization was conducted using time-of-flight secondary ion microscopy (TOF-SIMS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM).

A large inter-laboratory study, involving six distinct sets of OPV devices, was conducted. The devices were degraded under identical conditions. The devices were thereafter analysed at different laboratories using different analysis techniques, herein the results from TOF-SIMS analysis are reported and discussed. Degradation analysis of an active layer polymer and polymer blend was also conducted. The samples were degraded as a function of exposed light dose and afterwards analysed by TOF-SIMS and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Some of the results were analysed using multivariate analysis to get further insight into the chemistry of the active layer degradation. The last part of the thesis are smaller TOF-SIMS and AFM studies, characterization studies of both OPV devices and OPV materials conducted in the duration of the PhD.
Date of Award13 Apr 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark
SponsorsDanish National Research Foundation
SupervisorKion Norrman (Supervisor) & Frederik C. Krebs (Supervisor)


  • Organic Solar Cells
  • Material
  • Solar Cell
  • Characterization
  • AFM

Cite this