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Electrical and optical properties of hybrid polymer solar cells incorporating Au and CuO nanoparticles

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In this study, to enhance the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of the polymer solar cells (PSCs), Gold (Au) and Copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO-NPs) are incorporated into the PEDOT:PSS and P3HT/PCBM active layers respectively. PSCs with a constant CuO-NP content were fabricated with varying amounts of Au NPs. Addition of Au NPs increased the power conversion efficiency by up to 18% compared to a reference cell without Au-NPs. The short circuit current(Jsc) of the cells containing 0.06 mg of Au NPs was measured at 7.491 mA/cm2 compared to 6.484 mA/cm2 in the reference cells with 0.6 mg of CuO nanoparticles; meanwhile, the external quantum efficiency(EQE) increased from 53% to 61%, showing an enhancement of 15.1%. Au-NPs improved the charge collection at the anode, which results in higher short circuit current and fill factor. However, the strong near field surrounding Au-NPs due to localized surface plasmonic resonance (LSPR) effect is not distributed into the active layer. Instead, it is spread horizontally through the PEDOT:PSS layer, thus minimizing the light absorption in the active layer.

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A simple nanostructured polymer/ZnO hybrid solar cell-preparation and operation in air.

A detailed description is given of the preparation of a polymer solar cell and its characterization. The solar cell can be prepared entirely in the ambient atmosphere by solution processing without the use of vacuum coating steps, and it can be operated in the ambient atmosphere with good operational stability under illumination (1000 W m(-2), AM1.5G, 72 ± 2 °C, 35 ± 5% relative humidity) for 100 h with a 20% loss in efficiency with respect to the initial performance. The dark storability (darkness, 25 °C, 35 ± 5% relative humidity) has been shown to exceed six months without notable loss in efficiency. The devices do not require any form of encapsulation to gain stability, while a barrier for mechanical protection may be useful. The devices are based on soluble zinc oxide nanoparticles mixed with the thermocleavable conjugated polymer poly-(3-(2-methylhexan-2-yl)-oxy-carbonyldithiophene) (P3MHOCT), which through a thermal treatment is converted to the insoluble form poly(3-carboxydithiophene) (P3CT) that generally gives stable polymer solar cells. The devices employed a solution based silver back electrode. One advantage is that preparation of the devices is very simple and can be carried out by hand under ambient conditions, requiring only a hot plate that can reach a temperature of 210 °C, and preferably also a spincoater. This type of device is thus excellently suited for teaching and demonstration purposes provided that the materials are at hand.
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Improving the efficiency of polymer solar cells by incorporating gold nanoparticles into all polymer layers

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Organic-inorganic hybrid solar cells: A comparative review

Author and article information

[] Materials Science and Engineering Department, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 3200 North Cramer Street, Milwaukee, WI 53201, USA
Author notes
Nidal Abu-Zahra, Email:; Tel: 414-229-2668.
AIMS Materials Science
AIMS Materials Science
AIMS Materials Science
AIMS Materials Science
AIMS Press
29 December 2015
: 3
: 1
: 35-50
Research article
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