Nanostructured Organic and Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Solar Cells

Structure formation using polymer self-assembly improved the performance of organic-inorganic hybrid solar cells.

All-organic and inorganic-organic hybrid solar cells offer potential advantages over conventional silicon devices such as easier (readily scalable) manufacture, and increased portability by using lighter and more flexible materials. However, power conversion efficiencies and device lifetimes must be improved before these 'next-generation' solar cells can become commercially relevant. This project aims to explore the effect of nanostructure in the active region of the solar cell, and the extent to which controlling nanostructure could address these issues.

Specific nanostructures targeted include the gyroid structure [1], opal structures and nanopillar arrangements. These are combined with all-organic materials, inorganic semiconductors such as antimony trisulphide and perovskite-structured hybrids [2]. It is hoped that nanostructures with regular, repeating structure and dense donor/acceptor interfaces for exciton dissociation can improve device efficiencies for proof-of-principle, and provide samples suited to further investigation of the working mechanisms involved.

Techniques employed in this project include evaporation-induced microphase separation, electropolymerisation, electrodeposition, evaporation deposition, cyclic voltammetry, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction crystallography and standard solar cell characterisation.


1. Scherer et al., 'Enhanced Electrochromism in Gyroid-Structured Vanadium Pentoxide', Adv Mater, 24 1217 (2012)

2. Lee et al., 'Efficient Hybrid Solar Cells Based on Meso-Superstructured Organometal Halide Perovskites', Science, 338 643 (2012)

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