Combining solvents and surfactants for inkjet printing PEDOT: PSS on P3HT/PCBM in organic solar cells

Sander Kommeren, Michiel J.J. Coenen, Tamara M. Eggenhuisen, Thijs M.W.L. Slaats, Harrie Gorter, Pim Groen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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A commonly used strategy in the fabrication of organic electronics involves the use of orthogonal solvents, i.e. the alternating use of organic solvents and water for the application of consecutive layers to prevent dissolution of previous layers. This strategy therefore requires the deposition of sequential layers with a large mismatch in surface energy. In case of organic photovoltaics (OPV) a particularly challenging deposition is that of the aqueous Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) Polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) on the hydrophobic Poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl/Phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (P3HT/PCBM) layer. The mismatch in surface energy causes dewetting and inhomogeneous layer formation. In inkjet printing individually placed droplets should spread sufficiently far to form a homogeneous closed layer before the solvents in the droplet evaporate. A formulation for the aqueous PEDOT:PSS layer has been developed in which the combination of solvents and surfactants is essential for achieving a homogenous layer on the timescales needed for inkjet printing. Homogenous layers of PEDOT:PSS on P3HT/PCBM were achieved for layer thicknesses from 400 nm to 50 nm. The efficiency of the OPV's fabricated with the new formulation were comparable with reference devices, where evaporated molybdenum oxide (MoOx) was used as a topelectrode. This shows that by the addition of solvents and surfactants a hydrophilic solution can be inkjet printed successfully to form homogenous layers on hydrophobic surfaces and achieve good efficiencies in an inverted organic solar cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-288
Number of pages7
JournalOrganic Electronics: physics, materials, applications
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • High speed imaging
  • Inkjet printing
  • Organic photovoltaics
  • Surfactants
  • Wetting behavior

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