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Synergistic effect of carotenoid and silicone-based additives for photooxidatively stable organic solar cells with enhanced elasticity



Michela Prete, Elisa Ogliani, Mikkel Bregnhøj, Subham Dastidar, Jonas Lissau, Horst-Günter Rubahn, Sebastian Engmann, Anne Ladegaard Skov, Michael Brook, Peter Ogilby, Adam Printz, Vida Turkovic, Morten Madsen


Photochemical and mechanical stability are critical factors in the production and application of organic solar cells. While these factors can individually be improved using different additives, there is no example of studies on the combined effects of such additive-assisted stabilization. In this study, the properties of PTB7:[70]PCBM organic solar cells are studied upon implementation of two additives: the carotenoid astaxanthin (AX) for photochemical stability and the silicone polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) for improved mechanical properties. A newly designed additive, AXcPDMS, based on astaxanthin covalently bonded to PDMS was also examined. Lifetime tests produced in ISOS-L-2 conditions reveal an improvement in the accumulated power generation (APG) of 10 % when AX is utilized in the films, which rises to 90 % when AX is paired with PDMS. An even larger improvement of 140 % is achieved when AXcPDMS is inserted in the active layer blend, as compared to the control devices. Singlet oxygen phosphorescence measurements are utilized to study the ability of AX and AXcPDMS to quench singlet oxygen precursors (triplet states) and singlet oxygen produced in the films. The data are consistent with the strong stabilization effect of the carotenoids. While AX and AXcPDMS are both efficient photochemical stabilizers, the improvement in device stability observed in the presence of AXcPDMS is likely due to an improved active layer morphology, which localizes the stabilizer more favorably in the blend. The mechanical properties of the active layers were investigated by tensile testing and cohesive fracture measurements, showing a joint improvement of the photooxidative stability and the mechanical properties, thus yielding organic solar cell devices that are promising for flexible photovoltaic applications.
Journal of Materials Chemistry C


Prete, M. , Ogliani, E. , Bregnhøj, M. , Dastidar, S. , Lissau, J. , Rubahn, H. , Engmann, S. , Ladegaard Skov, A. , Brook, M. , Ogilby, P. , Printz, A. , Turkovic, V. and Madsen, M. (2021), Synergistic effect of carotenoid and silicone-based additives for photooxidatively stable organic solar cells with enhanced elasticity, Journal of Materials Chemistry C, [online],, (Accessed April 15, 2024)
Created July 7, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022