Thermal stability of hybrid solar cells containing spiro-OMeTAD as hole-transporting layer is investigated. It is demonstrated that fully symmetrical spiro-OMeTAD is prone to crystallization, and growth of large crystalline domains in the hole-transporting layer is one of the causes of solar cell degradation at elevated temperatures, as crystallization of the material inside the pores or on the interface affects the contact between the absorber and the hole transport. Suppression of the crystal growth in the hole-transporting layer is demonstrated to be a viable tactic to achieve a significant increase in the solar cell resistance to thermal stress and improve the overall lifetime of the device. Findings described in this publication could be applicable to hybrid solar cell research as a number of well-performing architectures rely heavily upon doped spiro-OMeTAD as hole-transporting material.
Keywords: amorphous materials; charge transport; hybrid solar cells; morphological stability; spiro compounds.