In this paper we have experimentally studied the electrical behavior of organic solar cells (OSCs) under mechanical strain in dark condition. Dark current-voltage characteristics of solar cells provide valuable information on the defect states inside the device. The samples under tests here are two commercial polymeric solar cells with different electrode types. So, instead of studying merely the dark current changes of the solar cells versus strain, the electrodes effects due to the applied strain are compared at different environment temperatures. The most important electrical parameters of the strained cells are extracted as a function of the strain at different temperatures for two conditions: when the cells are under strain and when they are relaxed for 3 min after applying the strain. The only parameter that shows a considerable meaningful change by strain is the series resistance. The final results confirm that the cell with silver electrodes, shows a current increase by tensile strain due to the polymeric chains alignment along the strain direction. But the cell with carbon electrodes experiences a current decrement by increasing the strain. We believe that the carbon electrode, due to the larger carbon Young's modulus, in comparison with the silver electrode cells creates more defect states in the flexible polymeric cells under the same amount of the applied strain. Furthermore, the cell with softer and more stretchable silver grid electrodes can withstand a higher level of strain before suffering any permanent damage.
Organic Electronics – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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