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      Tailored ZnS/Ag/TiO x transparent and conductive electrode for organic solar cells


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          Organic photovoltaic cells (OPVCs) attract high interest for solar energy harvesting. They are based on organic thin films sandwiched between two electrodes, one of them being transparent and conductive. Nowadays, ITO remains the most widely used transparent conductive electrode (TCE) because of its excellent optical and electrical properties compared to other TCEs. However, it has some drawbacks such as scarcity of indium, high fabrication cost, and mechanical properties poorly adapted to use as flexible substrates. To keep these performances without indium, several materials can replace ITO such as MoO 3, ZnO, ZnS, TiO 2,… as dielectric and Ag, Cu,... as metal inside a dielectric/metal/dielectric three-layer structure. A Transfer Matrix Method (TMM) based numerical model is used to predict the optical behavior of the considered electrodes. ZnS/Ag/TiO x electrodes are manufactured by a vacuum electron beam evaporator on glass substrates, then characterized by UV-Visible spectrophotometer for obtaining transmittance and reflectance and by a four-point method for the measurement of sheet resistance. It is found that the simulation and experimental curves are quite similar. The transmittance is measured to be higher than 80% on a wide spectral band that can be tailored by the thickness of the upper dielectric material. The optical window Δ λ, for T > 80%, can be tuned in the 400–800 nm spectral band, according to the thickness of TiO x in the 25–50 nm range. This variation allows us to adapt our electrode to organic materials in order to optimize the performance of organic solar cells. The sheet resistance obtained is around to 7 Ω/sq, which gives our electrodes the transparent and conductive character simultaneously. A typical parameter to compare the electrodes is the merit figure, which questions the average optical transmission T av in the visible range and the sheet resistance R sq. By applying this figure to many manufactured electrodes, the obtained optimal structure of our TCEs is demonstrated to be ZnS (40 nm)/Ag (10 nm)/TiO x (30 nm).

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          Most cited references26

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          Past achievements and future challenges in the development of optically transparent electrodes

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            New figure of merit for transparent conductors

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              Solar energy. Outlook brightens for plastic solar cells.


                Author and article information

                EPJ Photovoltaics
                EPJ Photovolt.
                EDP Sciences
                04 June 2019
                04 June 2019
                : 10
                : ( publisher-idID: epjpv/2019/01 )
                : 2
                [1 ] Aix-Marseille Université, Institut Matériaux Microélectronique Nanosciences de Provence – IM2NP, CNRS-UMR 7334, Domaine Universitaire de Saint-Jérôme, , 13 397 Marseille Cedex 20, France,
                [2 ] UPDS, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Université de Tunis El Manar, , Tunis, Tunisia,
                [3 ] École Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Tunis ENSIT, Université de Tunis, , Tunis, Tunisia,
                Author notes
                © M.A. Cherif et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2019

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 14 January 2019
                : 26 April 2019
                : 6 May 2019
                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 1, Equations: 4, References: 29, Pages: 7
                Self URI (journal page): https://www.epj-pv.org
                Optics of Thin Films, TCOs
                Topical Issue: From advanced materials and technologies to multiscale integration and usages
                Regular Article
                Custom metadata
                EPJ Photovoltaics 10, 2 (2019)

                Sustainable & Green chemistry,Materials technology,Semiconductors,Materials for energy,Technical & Applied physics,Renewable energy
                oxide,TMM numerical calculation,dielectric,thin film,organic solar cells,metal,Multilayer,in-free transparent and conductive electrodes


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