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Title: Molecular and Nanoscale Engineering of High Efficiency Excitonic Solar Cells

We combined the synthesis of new polymers and organic-inorganic hybrid materials with new experimental characterization tools to investigate bulk heterojunction (BHJ) polymer solar cells and hybrid organic-inorganic solar cells during the 2007-2010 period (phase I) of this project. We showed that the bulk morphology of polymer/fullerene blend solar cells could be controlled by using either self-assembled polymer semiconductor nanowires or diblock poly(3-alkylthiophenes) as the light-absorbing and hole transport component. We developed new characterization tools in-house, including photoinduced absorption (PIA) spectroscopy, time-resolved electrostatic force microscopy (TR-EFM) and conductive and photoconductive atomic force microscopy (c-AFM and pc-AFM), and used them to investigate charge transfer and recombination dynamics in polymer/fullerene BHJ solar cells, hybrid polymer-nanocrystal (PbSe) devices, and dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs); we thus showed in detail how the bulk photovoltaic properties are connected to the nanoscale structure of the BHJ polymer solar cells. We created various oxide semiconductor (ZnO, TiO2) nanostructures by solution processing routes, including hierarchical aggregates and nanorods/nanotubes, and showed that the nanostructured photoanodes resulted in substantially enhanced light-harvesting and charge transport, leading to enhanced power conversion efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells.
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  1. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY Excitonic solar cells; polymer solar cells; hybrid organic-inorganic solar cells; organic semiconductors; oxide semiconductor nanostructures; nanoscale characterization; bulk heterojunction devices; photoinduced hole transfer; photoinduced electron transfer; non-fullerene electron acceptors; charge separation; conjugated polymers