Air Knife-Assisted Spray Coating of Organic Solar Cells
Emma Spooner a, Elena Cassella a, David Lidzey a
a Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield, UK, Hounsfield Road, United Kingdom
International Conference on Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics
Proceedings of International Conference on Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics (HOPV22)
València, Spain, 2022 May 19th - 25th
Organizers: Pablo Docampo, Eva Unger and Elizabeth Gibson
Poster, Emma Spooner, 210
Publication date: 20th April 2022

Organic solar cells (OSCs) have shown sky rocketing efficiencies in recent years, due the introduction of the ‘Y-class’ of non-fullerene acceptors. These systems have now breached 19% efficiency,[1] using spin coating and halogenated solvents. However, as the field moves forward, manufacture using lower waste deposition methods, and non-halogenated solvents, is increasingly vital.

Spray coating is a promising scalable deposition technique that has demonstrated the fastest coating speeds of any low waste method (>12 m min-1)[2] and is uniquely able to deposit on non-planar substrates. While OSCs based on a Y-class system have been manufactured via blade coating[3] and slot die coating,[4] they are yet to be demonstrated for spray coating.

Here, for the first time, we demonstrate an ultrasonically spray coated OSC using Y-class acceptor DTY6. Importantly, we use a non-halogenated solvent (o-Xylene) and do not heat the substrate or the ink- meaning this process is inherently scalable. Instead of heat we use an ‘air-knife’ to blow nitrogen at our film after deposition, rapidly removing solvent. This method has been recently very successful in gas-quenching spray coated perovskite solar cells,[5] and here is one of the first demonstrations of its use in OSCs. Using the air-knife assisted drying, we achieve state-of-the-art spray coated efficiencies of 14.1% for PM6:DTY6 OSCs in o-Xylene.

This work was partly funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant EP/S009213/1 (The integration of photovoltaic devices with carbon-fibre composites). E.L.K.S. and E.J.C. thank the EPSRC for PhD studentships from the Centre for Doctoral Training in New and Sustainable PV, EP/L01551X/1. 

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