• hybrid photovoltaics;
  • P3HT;
  • zinc oxide;
  • doping;
  • Kelvin probe microscopy

Exciton dissociation at the zinc oxide/poly(3-hexylthiophene) (ZnO/P3HT) interface as a function of nitrogen doping of the zinc oxide, which decreases the electron concentration from approximately 1019 cm−3 to 1017 cm−3, is reported. Exciton dissociation and device photocurrent are strongly improved with nitrogen doping. This improved dissociation of excitons in the conjugated polymer is found to result from enhanced light-induced de-trapping of electrons from the surface of the nitrogen-doped ZnO. The ability to improve the surface properties of ZnO by introducing a simple nitrogen dopant has general applicability.