Evaporation is the most commonly used deposition method in the processing of back electrodes in polymer solar cells used in scientific studies. However, vacuum-based methods such as evaporation are uneconomical in the upscaling of polymer solar cells as they are throughput limiting steps in an otherwise fast roll-to-roll production line. In this paper, the applicability of inkjet printing in the ambient processing of back electrodes in inverted polymer solar cells with the structure ITO/ZnO/P3HT:PCBM/PEDOT:PSS/Ag is investigated. Furthermore, the limitation of screen printing, the commonly employed method in the ambient processing of back electrode, is demonstrated and discussed. Both inkjet printing and screen printing of back electrodes are studied for their impact on the photovoltaic properties of the polymer solar cells measured under 1000 Wm−2 AM1.5. Each ambient processing technique is compared with evaporation in the processing of back electrode. Laser beam induced current (LBIC) imaging is used to investigate the impact of the processing techniques on the current collection in the devices. We report that inkjet printing of back electrode delivers devices having photovoltaic performance comparable to devices with evaporated back electrodes. We further confirm that inkjet printing represent an efficient alternative to screen printing.
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