The effects of ITO surface modification on lifetime in organic photovoltaic devices and a test setup for measuring lifetime
Sutcu, Sinan Mahmut
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Though relatively young, the field of organic electronics is a rapidly growing market and considerable research is being done in creating a whole range of devices from organic molecules from organic field effect transistors to LEDs to photovoltaic devices. The field of organic photovoltaic in particular has become important in recent years with the push for newer, renewable sources of energy to end the dependence on fossil fuels. While the efficiencies of organic photovoltaic devices continue to rise, one barrier to their commercial adoption has been the limited lifetimes of these devices. While certain degradation methods of organic photovoltaics, such as photo-oxidation, have been extensively studied and solutions to these problems, such as encapsulation, are being researched, certain other degradation mechanisms are less understood and studied. The focus of this thesis is on one such degradation mechanism, UV degradation, specific to the ITO-pentacene interface in pentacene/C60 organic photovoltaic devices. Attempts were made to increase the lifetime of the devices by using phosphonic acids or oxygen plasma to modify the surface of the ITO. While conducting these experiments, the lack of a system to test the lifetime of multiple devices for long periods of time became apparent. As such as system was a requirement for future research into the lifetimes of organic photovoltaic devices a system was designed and built. The system would operate the photovoltaic device in a way comparable to its end-use and would allow over 100 devices to be tested simultaneously for durations exceeding 10,000 hours if necessary. This system would allow for statistically significant lifetime testing to be carried out in the future.