Electrical and photo-induced degradation of ZnO layers in organic photovoltaics

Assaf Manor, Eugene A. Katz, Thomas Tromholt, Frederik C. Krebs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


We present the case of degradation of organic solar cells by sunlight concentrated to a moderate level (4 ∼ suns). This concentration level is not enough for sufficient acceleration of the photobleaching or trap-generation in the photoactive layer and therefore such short treatment (100 minutes) does not affect the short-circuit current of the device. However, a significant degradation of V OC and FF has been recorded by measurements of the cell currentvoltage curves with a variation of light intensity, for the devices before and after the treatment. The same degradation was found to occur after short application of forward voltage biases in the dark. This kind of degradation is found to be repairable, and could even be prevented by simple electrical treatment (short pulses of the reverse bias). Moreover, even the fresh cells can be improved by the same process. Generation and degeneration of shunts in ZnO hole-blocking layer as underlying physical mechanisms for the cell degradation and restoration, respectively, can explain the results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-843
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science (all)


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