Annealing Effects on the Optoelectronic Performance of Au and CuO Nanoparticles Incorporated P3HT/PCBM Solar Cells

Authors Aruna P. Wanninayake

Department of Physics and Electronics, University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Issue Volume 13, Year 2021, Number 4
Dates Received 09 March 2021; revised manuscript received 03 August 2021; published online 20 August 2021
Citation Aruna P. Wanninayake, J. Nano- Electron. Phys. 13 No 4, 04016 (2021)
PACS Number(s) 84.60.Jt, 85.60.Bt
Keywords Plasmonic effect, Thermal annealing (4) , PSCs, P3HT (2) , PCBM, PCE (6) .

Sun energy conversion to electrical energy using nanostructured organic/inorganic hybrid semiconductors is one of the best solutions for today’s energy crisis. In particular, researchers are focusing on multi-techniques to increase the power conversion efficiency of polymer solar cells, including thermal annealing and the incorporation of metal or transition metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs) into the active layer of polymer solar cells (PSCs). The design approaches for thermal annealing are to improve the nanoscale morphology and optical properties of the active layer. The incorporation of metal NPs is based on localized surface plasmonic resonance (LSPR) effect which can be used to enhance the optical absorption in photovoltaic devices. Meanwhile, transition metal oxide NPs such as copper oxide (CuO) NPs in the active layer play a key role as light harvesting centers, charged particle hopping centers, and surface morphology developer, enabling a considerable reduction in the physical thickness of solar photovoltaic absorber layers. In this study, thermal annealing was used to optimize the power conversion efficiency of bulk heterojunction P3HT/PC70BM SCs synthesized by incorporating gold nanoparticles and copper oxide nanoparticles. Thermal annealing increased the power conversion efficiency by up to 48.3 % compared to the reference cell. The optimum short-circuit current (Jsc) of the cells was measured to be 8.704 mA/cm2 compared to 5.838 mA/cm2 in the reference cell; meanwhile, the external quantum efficiency (EQE) increased from 44 to 64 %.

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