Continuous operation of a polymer photovoltaic device under accelerated conditions for more than 1 year has been demonstrated (8760h at 72 degrees C, 1000Wm(-2), AM 1.5, under vacuum). Formation of hydrogen-bonded networks is proposed to be responsible for the long lifetime and high stability observed in photovoltaic devices employing polythiophene substituted with carboxylic-acid moieties under oxygen free conditions. H-1 and C-13 solid-state NMR, IR, and ESR spectroscopy of unmodified and isotopically labeled polythiophenes were studied. Distances between the isotopically labeled carboxylic acid carbon atoms were measured by C-13 solid-state magic-angle-spinning (MAS) NMR using symmetry-based double-quantum (2Q) dipolar recoupling. This revealed the presence of C-13-C-13 distances of 3.85 angstrom, which correspond to the C-C distance in hydrogen-bonded carboxylic acid dimers. In spite of the presence of carboxylic groups in the polymer as demonstrated by C-13 CP/MAS NMR and IR spectroscopy, the absence of carboxylic protons in solid state H-1 NMR spectra indicate that they are mobile. We link the extraordinary stability of this system to the rigid nature, cross-linking through a hydrogen-bonded network and a partially oxidized state. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 2008, Vol 92, Issue 7, p. 772-784