Biomimetic Approach to Inhibition of Photooxidation in Organic Solar Cells Using Beta-Carotene as an Additive

Vida Turkovic, Michela Prete, Mikkel Bregnhøj, Liana Inasaridze, Dmytro Volyniuk, Filipp A. Obrezkov, Juozas Vidas Grazulevicius, Sebastian Engmann, Horst Günter Rubahn, Pavel A. Troshin, Peter R. Ogilby, Morten Madsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Recent efficiency records of organic photovoltaics (OPV) highlight stability as a limiting weakness. Incorporation of stabilizers is a desirable approach for inhibiting degradation - it is inexpensive and readily up-scalable. However, to date, such additives have had limited success. We show that β-carotene (BC), an inexpensive and green, naturally occurring antioxidant, dramatically improves OPV stability. When compared to nonstabilized reference devices, the accumulated power generation of PTB7:[70]PCBM devices in the presence of BC increases by an impressive factor of 6, due to stabilization of both the burn-in and the lifetime, and by a factor of 21 for P3HT:[60]PCBM devices, owing to a longer lifetime. Using electron spin resonance and time-resolved near-IR emission spectroscopies, we probed radical and singlet oxygen concentrations. We demonstrate that singlet oxygen sensitized by [70]PCBM causes the "burn-in" of PTB7:[70]PCBM devices and that BC effectively mitigates it. Our results provide an effective solution to the problem that currently limits widespread use of OPV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41570-41579
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • antioxidant
  • burn-in
  • organic solar cells
  • singlet oxygen
  • stability


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