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Hole Collecting SAM Formation Reagents to Enhance Solar Cell Performance

The PACz series was developed by Getautis and Albrecht et al. as a hole-selective layer suitable for p-i-n ("inverted") architecture perovskite solar cells.1) Hole-selective self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) can be formed on transparent electrodes such as ITO owing to phosphonic acid anchors of PACzs that form covalent bonds on the metal oxide surface. Both spin-coating and dip-coating methods are effective for fabricating PACz SAMs. PACz SAMs have been reported to achieve effective hole extraction and small density of trap states, and thus achieve higher power conversion efficiency (PCE) and stability compared to cells using PTAA (= poly[bis(4-phenyl)(2,4,6-trime-thylphenyl)amine]), which is commonly used in p-i-n type cells. PACzs have also formed SAMs on a compound semiconductor, CIGSe, indicating compatibility with tandem cells. Furthermore, studies have shown that PACzs contribute to improved PCE and stability in organic photovoltaics,2,3) and can be applied as an electron selective layer on a crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cell.4)

3PATAT-C3 is a hole-collecting SAM forming material developed by Wakamiya et al.5) The planar π-structure and three phosphonic acid anchors enable the formation of SAMs oriented face-on to the substrate. This is expected to lead to efficient charge collection.

We have the PACz series and 3PATAT-C3 in our catalog. Please feel free to inquire for bulk supply options.


PACz series


The 2PACz and 4PACz series are covered by a joint patent pending (PCT/EP2019/060586) of Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH, Germany and Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania. TCI has been granted the right to manufacture and sell these materials.

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3PATAT-C3 is commercialized under the instruction of Professor Atsushi Wakamiya, and under an invention license by EneCoat Technologies Co., Ltd.

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Materials Processing of PACz series

Method 1: Dip coating

suitable for large-area coating and textured substrates

Dip coating

Method 2: Spin coating

suitable for fast research and optimization

Spin coating

*The minimum needed dipping time can vary from minutes to hours. After some further testing with 2PACz, researchers found more reproducible results with rather 0.5 mmol/L and 5 minutes dipping. Note that optimal concentration and dipping time may vary depending on the used substrate oxide and pre-treatment.

  • The SAM forming agents can be processed within wide processing windows with higher reproducibility than current standard hole transport materials (like PTAA). The substrates (e.g. ITO) have to be clean and activated by, for example, UV-Ozone treatment.
  • The SAM forming agent powders were usually dissolved in ethanol or isopropanol (1 mmol/L ≈ 0.3 mg/mL), MeO-2PACz powder was stored in air, while 2PACz and Me-4PACz were stored in a N2-filled glovebox.

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