In the present review, the main degradation mechanisms occurring in the different layer stacking (i.e. photoactive layer, electrode, encapsulation film, interconnection) of polymeric organic solar cells and modules are discussed. Bulk and interfacial, as well as chemical and physical degradation mechanisms are reviewed, as well as their implications and external or internal triggers. Decay in I-V curves in function of time is usually due to the combined action of sequential and interrelated mechanisms taking place at different locations of the device, at specific kinetics. This often makes the identification of specific root causes of degradation challenging in non-model systems. Additionally, constant development and refinement in terms of type and combination of materials and processes render the ranking of degradation mechanisms as a function of their probability of occurrence and their detection challenging. However, it clearly appears that for the overall stability of organic photovoltaic devices, the actual photoactive layer, as well as the properties of the barrier and substrate (e.g. cut of moisture and oxygen ingress, mechanical integrity), remain critical. Interfacial stability is also crucial, as a modest degradation at the level of an interface can quickly and significantly influence the overall device properties.
- Degradation mechanisms
- Organic photovoltaics