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Nanostructured electrodes for organic bulk heterojunction solar cells: Model study using carbon nanotube dispersed polythiophene-fullerene blend devices

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7 Author(s)
Nam, Chang-Yong ; Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973, USA ; Wu, Qin ; Su, Dong ; Chiu, Chien-yang
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We test the feasibility of using nanostructured electrodes in organic bulk heterojunction solar cells to improve their photovoltaic performance by enhancing their charge collection efficiency and thereby increasing the optimal active blend layer thickness. As a model system, small concentrations of single wall carbon nanotubes are added to blends of poly(3-hexylthiophene): [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester in order to create networks of efficient hole conduction pathways in the device active layer without affecting the light absorption. The nanotube addition leads to a 22% increase in the optimal blend layer thickness from 90 nm to 110 nm, enhancing the short circuit current density and photovoltaic device efficiency by as much as ∼10%. The associated incident-photon-to-current conversion efficiency for the given thickness also increases by ∼10% uniformly across the device optical absorption spectrum, corroborating the enhanced charge carrier collection by nanostructured electrodes.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:110 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Sep 2011

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