A study on stability of active layer of polymer solar cells: effect of UV–visible light with different conditions

Umer Mehmood, Khalil Harrabi*, Ibnelwaleed A. Hussein, Nagendiran Shanmugam, A. Mekki, M. Mekki, M. A. McLachlan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: The objective of this study is to investigate the stability of the active layer of polymer solar cells from the effect of UV–visible light irradiation using different conditions with respect to time. The active layers were composed of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and [6,6]-phenyl C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM), deposited on conductive glass substrates through spin coating. These samples are placed in a UV–visible light exposure chamber using different conditions (heat and water) over the specific periods of time. The samples are analyzed by UV–visible absorption spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) measurements. The results indicate that after continuous exposure to UV irradiation for 72 and 120 h, the sample shows a significant decrease in absorption of the main peak. The sample shows around 25% loss in absorption (main peak) after 72 h of irradiation. The FTIR results illustrate a progressive decrease in intensities of all typical absorption peaks owing to P3HT ring scission, side chain oxidation as well as degradation of the side groups of PCBM. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-537
Number of pages13
JournalPolymer Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - 6 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge the support provided by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) through the Science and Technology Unit at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) for funding this work through Project # ENE2379-04 as part of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Plan. KFUPM is also acknowledged for supporting this research. The authors would like to acknowledge the Center of Research Excellence for Renewable Energy at KFUPM.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • FTIR
  • P3HT
  • PCBM
  • Solar cells
  • UV–visible light
  • XPS analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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