Nanoscale Characterization of the Electrical Properties of Oxide Electrodes at the Organic Semiconductor-Oxide Electrode Interface in Organic Solar Cells

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/347338
Title:
Nanoscale Characterization of the Electrical Properties of Oxide Electrodes at the Organic Semiconductor-Oxide Electrode Interface in Organic Solar Cells
Author:
MacDonald, Gordon Alex
Issue Date:
2015
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation focuses on characterizing the nanoscale and surface averaged electrical properties of transparent conducting oxide (TCO) electrodes such as indium tin oxide (ITO) and transparent metal-oxide (MO) electron selective interlayers (ESLs), such as zinc oxide (ZnO), the ability of these materials to rapidly extract photogenerated charges from organic semiconductors (OSCs) used in organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells, and evaluating their impact on the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of OPV devices. In Chapter 1, we will introduce the fundamental principles regarding the need for low cost power generation, the benefits of OPV technologies, as well as the key principles that govern the operation of OPV devices and the key innovations that have advanced this technology. In Chapter 2 of this dissertation, we demonstrate an innovative application of conductive probe atomic force microscopy (CAFM) to map the nanoscale electrical heterogeneity at the interface between an electrode, such as ITO, and an OSC such as the p-type OSC copper phthalocyanine (CuPc).(MacDonald et al. (2012) ACS Nano, 6, p. 9623) In this work we collected arrays of J-V curves, using a CAFM probe as the top contact of CuPc/ITO systems, to map the local J-V responses. By comparing J-V responses to known models for charge transport, we were able to determine if the local rate-limiting step for charge transport is through the OSC (ohmic) or the CuPc/ITO interface (nonohmic). These results strongly correlate with device PCE, as demonstrated through the controlled addition of insulating alkylphosphonic acid self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) at the ITO/CuPc interface. Subsequent chapters focus on the electrical property characterization of RF-magnetron sputtered ZnO (sp-ZnO) ESL films on ITO substrates. We have shown that the energetic alignment of ESLs and the organic semiconducting (OSC) active materials plays a critical role in determining the PCE of OPV devices and the appearance of, or lack thereof, UV light soaking sensitivity. For ZnO and fullerene interfaces, we have shown that either minimizing the oxygen partial pressure during ZnO deposition or exposure of ZnO to UV light minimizes the energetic offset at this interface and maximizes device PCE. We have used a combination of device testing, device modeling, and impedance spectroscopy to fully characterize the effects that energetic alignment has on the charge carrier transport and charge carrier distribution within the OPV device. This work can be found in Chapter 3 of this dissertation and is in preparation for publication. We have also shown that the local properties of sp-ZnO films varies as a function of the underlying ITO crystal face. We show that the local ITO crystal face determines the local nucleation and growth of the sp-ZnO films. We demonstrate that this effects the morphology, the chemical resistance to etching as well as the surface electrical properties of the sp-ZnO films. This is likely due to differences in the surface mobility of sputtered Zn and O atoms on these crystal faces during film nucleation. This affects the nanoscale distribution of electrical and chemical properties. As a result we demonstrate that the PCE, and UV sensitivity of the J-V response of OPVs using sp-ZnO ESLs are strongly impacted by the distribution of ITO crystal faces at the surface of the substrate. This work can be found in Chapter 4 of this dissertation and is in preparation for publication. These studies have contributed to a detailed understanding of the role that electrical heterogeneity, insulating barriers and energetic alignment at the MO/OSC interface play in OPV PCE.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Indium Tin Oxide; Nanoscale; Organic Photovoltaic; Solar cell; Zinc Oxide; AFM; Chemistry
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Chemistry
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Armstrong, Neal R.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleNanoscale Characterization of the Electrical Properties of Oxide Electrodes at the Organic Semiconductor-Oxide Electrode Interface in Organic Solar Cellsen_US
dc.creatorMacDonald, Gordon Alexen_US
dc.contributor.authorMacDonald, Gordon Alexen_US
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation focuses on characterizing the nanoscale and surface averaged electrical properties of transparent conducting oxide (TCO) electrodes such as indium tin oxide (ITO) and transparent metal-oxide (MO) electron selective interlayers (ESLs), such as zinc oxide (ZnO), the ability of these materials to rapidly extract photogenerated charges from organic semiconductors (OSCs) used in organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells, and evaluating their impact on the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of OPV devices. In Chapter 1, we will introduce the fundamental principles regarding the need for low cost power generation, the benefits of OPV technologies, as well as the key principles that govern the operation of OPV devices and the key innovations that have advanced this technology. In Chapter 2 of this dissertation, we demonstrate an innovative application of conductive probe atomic force microscopy (CAFM) to map the nanoscale electrical heterogeneity at the interface between an electrode, such as ITO, and an OSC such as the p-type OSC copper phthalocyanine (CuPc).(MacDonald et al. (2012) ACS Nano, 6, p. 9623) In this work we collected arrays of J-V curves, using a CAFM probe as the top contact of CuPc/ITO systems, to map the local J-V responses. By comparing J-V responses to known models for charge transport, we were able to determine if the local rate-limiting step for charge transport is through the OSC (ohmic) or the CuPc/ITO interface (nonohmic). These results strongly correlate with device PCE, as demonstrated through the controlled addition of insulating alkylphosphonic acid self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) at the ITO/CuPc interface. Subsequent chapters focus on the electrical property characterization of RF-magnetron sputtered ZnO (sp-ZnO) ESL films on ITO substrates. We have shown that the energetic alignment of ESLs and the organic semiconducting (OSC) active materials plays a critical role in determining the PCE of OPV devices and the appearance of, or lack thereof, UV light soaking sensitivity. For ZnO and fullerene interfaces, we have shown that either minimizing the oxygen partial pressure during ZnO deposition or exposure of ZnO to UV light minimizes the energetic offset at this interface and maximizes device PCE. We have used a combination of device testing, device modeling, and impedance spectroscopy to fully characterize the effects that energetic alignment has on the charge carrier transport and charge carrier distribution within the OPV device. This work can be found in Chapter 3 of this dissertation and is in preparation for publication. We have also shown that the local properties of sp-ZnO films varies as a function of the underlying ITO crystal face. We show that the local ITO crystal face determines the local nucleation and growth of the sp-ZnO films. We demonstrate that this effects the morphology, the chemical resistance to etching as well as the surface electrical properties of the sp-ZnO films. This is likely due to differences in the surface mobility of sputtered Zn and O atoms on these crystal faces during film nucleation. This affects the nanoscale distribution of electrical and chemical properties. As a result we demonstrate that the PCE, and UV sensitivity of the J-V response of OPVs using sp-ZnO ESLs are strongly impacted by the distribution of ITO crystal faces at the surface of the substrate. This work can be found in Chapter 4 of this dissertation and is in preparation for publication. These studies have contributed to a detailed understanding of the role that electrical heterogeneity, insulating barriers and energetic alignment at the MO/OSC interface play in OPV PCE.en_US
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectIndium Tin Oxideen_US
dc.subjectNanoscaleen_US
dc.subjectOrganic Photovoltaicen_US
dc.subjectSolar cellen_US
dc.subjectZinc Oxideen_US
dc.subjectAFMen_US
dc.subjectChemistryen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineChemistryen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorArmstrong, Neal R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberArmstrong, Neal R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPemberton, Jeanne E.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSaavedra, S. Scotten_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMonti, Oliver L.A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLoy, Douglas A.en_US
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