A plasmonically enhanced polymer solar cell with gold–silica core–shell nanorods.

Abstract

We report the use of chemically synthesized gold (Au)–silica core–shell nanorods with the length of 92.5 ± 8.0 nm and diameter of 34.3 ± 4.0 nm for the efficiency enhancement of bulk heterojunction (BHJ) polymer solar cells. Silica coated Au nanorods were randomly blended into the BHJ layers of these solar cells. This architecture inhibits the carrier recombination at the metal/polymer interface and effectively exploits light absorption at the surface plasmon resonance wavelengths of the Au–silica nanorods. To match the two plasmon resonant peaks of the Au–silica nanorods, we employed a low bandgap polymer, poly[2,6-(4,4-bis-(2-ethylhexyl)-4H-cyclopenta[2,1-b;3,4-b′] dithiophene)-alt-4,7-(2,1,3-benzothiadiazole)] (PCPDTBT) to construct a solar cell.

The absorption spectrum of PCPDTBT:[6,6]-phenyl-C71-butyric acid methyl ester (PC70BM) is relatively wide and matches the two plasmon resonance peaks of Au–silica nanorods, which leads to greater plasmonic effects. We also constructed the poly(3-hexylthiophene):[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (P3HT:PC60BM) cells for comparison. The absorption spectrum of P3HT:PC60BM only overlaps one of the plasmon resonance peak of Au–silica nanorods. The efficiency of the P3HT:PC60BM device incorporating optimized Au–silica nanorods is enhanced by 12.9% from 3.17% to 3.58%, which is due to the enhanced light absorption. Compared with the P3HT:PC60BM device with Au–silica nanorods, the PCPDTBT:PC70BM device with 1 wt% Au–silica nanorods concentration has a higher efficiency of 4.4% with an increase of 26%.

Citation

Xu, X., Kyaw, A.K.K., Peng, B., Zhao, D., Wong, T.K., Xiong, Q., Sun, X.W. and Heeger, A.J., 2013. A plasmonically enhanced polymer solar cell with gold–silica core–shell nanorods. Organic Electronics, 14(9), pp.2360-2368.

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Categories: Solar & Photovoltaics

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