The synergistic effect of nanocrystal integration and process optimization on solar cell efficiency

Liqiang Ren, Shiren Wang, Mark Holtz, Jingjing Qiu

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Abstract

This paper investigates the roles of semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and metallic SWNTs in the SWNT/poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT)-based photovoltaic conversion system. SWNTs containing different fractions of semiconducting nanotubes were conjugated with P3HT by virtue of interaction. The energy transfer and carrier transport mechanisms in the photovoltaic composites were experimentally investigated by optical absorption spectroscopy, photoluminescence spectroscopy and carrier mobility measurements. At low loading of SWNTs, a high percentage of semiconducting nanotubes result in diminished non-radiative decay of exciton and lower carrier mobility, causing higher open circuit voltage and lower photocurrent. At an optimized morphology, SWNT/P3HT/phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) hybrid-based solar cells demonstrated much higher photocurrent than a reference solar cell (P3HT:PCBM) due to the improved carrier mobility. Further thermal annealing of the devices significantly increased the open circuit voltage to 610mV, resulting in an 80% increase of power conversion efficiency in comparison to the reference solar cell. These results are expected to lay a foundation for the integration of various nanocrystals into solar cells for efficient photovoltaic conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075401
JournalNanotechnology
Volume23
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 24 2012

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