Influence of doping on charge carrier collection in normal and inverted geometry polymer : fullerene solar cells
While organic semiconductors used in polymer:fullerene photovoltaics are generally not intentionally doped, significant levels of unintentional doping have previously been reported in the literature. Here, we explain the differences in photocurrent collection between standard (transparent anode) and inverted (transparent cathode) low band-gap polymer:fullerene solar cells in terms of unintentional p-type doping. Using capacitance/voltage measurements, we find that the devices exhibit doping levels of order 1016 cm−3, resulting in space-charge regions ~100 nm thick at short circuit. As a result, low field regions form in devices thicker than 100 nm. Because more of the light is absorbed in the low field region in standard than in inverted architectures, the losses due to inefficient charge collection are greater in standard architectures. Using optical modelling, we show that the observed trends in photocurrent with device architecture and thickness can be explained if only charge carriers photogenerated in the depletion region contribute to the photocurrent.