Boosting charge collection efficiency via large-area free-standing Ag/ZnO core-shell nanowire array electrodes
2019-04, Feng, Yuyi, Kim, Paul, Nemitz, Clayton A., Kim, Kwang-Dae, Park, Yoonseok, Leo, Karl, Dorman, James A., Weickert, Jonas, Wang, Yongtian, Schmidt-Mende, Lukas
Hybrid nanostructures, comprising of a metal core and a semiconductor shell layer, show great potential for a new generation of low-cost solar cells due to their unique electronic and optical properties. However, experimental results have fallen far short of the ultra-high efficiency (i.e. beyond Shockley-Queisser limit) predicted by theoretical simulations. This limits the commercial application of these materials. Here, a non-transparent organic solar cell with an array of Ag/ZnO nanowires has been experimentally fabricated to increase the internal quantum efficiency (IQE) by a factor of 2.5 compared to a planar counterpart. This result indicates a significant enhancement of charge collection efficiency due to the ultrafast Ag nanowire channels. This hybrid nanostructure can also serve as a perfect back reflector for semi-transparent solar cells, which can result in enhanced light absorption by a factor of 1.8 compared to the reference samples. The enhanced charge collection and light absorption can make these Ag/ZnO nanostructures available for the application of modern optoelectronic devices.
Structure-induced resonant tail-state regime absorption in polymer : fullerene bulk-heterojunction solar cells
2016-05-18, Pfadler, Thomas, Kiel, Thomas, Stärk, Martin, Werra, Julia F. M., Matyssek, Christian, Sommer, Daniel, Boneberg, Johannes, Busch, Kurt, Weickert, Jonas, Schmidt-Mende, Lukas
In this work, we present resonant tail-state regime absorption enhanced organic photovoltaics. We combine periodically structured TiO2 bottom electrodes with P3HT-PCBM bulk-heterojunction solar cells in an inverted device configuration. The wavelength-scale patterns are transferred to the electron-selective bottom electrodes via direct laser interference patterning, a fast method compatible with roll-to-roll processing. Spectroscopic and optoelectronic device measurements suggest polarization-dependent absorption enhancement along with photocurrent generation unambiguously originating from the population of tail states. We discuss the effects underlying these absorption patterns with the help of electromagnetic simulations using the discontinuous Galerkin time domain method. For this, we focus on the total absorption spectra along with spatially resolved power loss densities. Our simulations stress the tunability of the absorption resonances towards arbitrary wavelength regions.
A comparison of light-coupling into high and low index nanostructured photovoltaic thin films
2015, Pfadler, Thomas, Stärk, Martin, Zimmermann, Eugen, Putnik, Martin, Boneberg, Johannes, Weickert, Jonas, Schmidt-Mende, Lukas
Periodically structured electrodes are typically introduced to thin-film photovoltaics for the purpose of light management. Highly effective light-trapping and optimal in-coupling of light is crucial to enhance the overall device performance in such thin-film systems. Here, wavelength-scale structures are transferred via direct laser interference patterning to electron-selective TiO2 electrodes. Two representative thin-film solar cell architectures are deposited on top: an organic solar cell featuring blended P3HT:PCBM as active material, and a hybrid solar cell with Sb2S3 as inorganic active material. A direct correlation in the asymmetry in total absorption enhancement and in structure-induced light in-coupling is spectroscopically observed for the two systems. The structuring is shown to be beneficial for the total absorption enhancement if a high n active material is deposited on TiO2, but detrimental for a low n material. The refractive indices of the employed materials are determined via spectroscopic ellipsometry. The study outlines that the macroscopic Fresnel equations can be used to investigate the spectroscopically observed asymmetry in light in-coupling at the nanostructured TiO2 active material interfaces by visualizing the difference in reflectivity caused by the asymmetry in refractive indices.
Defeating Loss Mechanisms in 1D TiO2-Based Hybrid Solar Cells
2015, Wisnet, Andreas, Bader, Katarina, Betzler, Simon B., Handloser, Matthias, Ehrenreich, Philipp, Pfadler, Thomas, Weickert, Jonas, Hartschuh, Achim, Schmidt-Mende, Lukas, Scheu, Christina, Dorman, James A.
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) semiconductors are widely used in energy conversion, energy storage, catalysis, and other electronic applications. Hydrothermally grown TiO2 nanowires are an alternative to mesoporous TiO2 nanostructures due to possible direct charge transport, but their full potential waits to be unleashed. Latest findings show a peculiar defect structure, consisting of small single-crystalline fingers and free internal surfaces, which supposedly promote a number of loss mechanisms. In this paper, the influence of these defects on charge transport is studied on the basis of hybrid solar cells featuring a TiO2/dye/polymer interface. Electrical, optical, and structural characterization identifies a number of loss mechanisms, which are inhibited by the introduction of particular annealing steps at specific processing points during fabrication. An increase in power-conversion efficiency of 35% is obtained, resulting in 2.71% and surpassing mesoporous films of the same material combination. These results suggest that caution has to be exercised when dealing with defect structures possibly present in metal oxides which appear single-crystalline by conventional analysis methods.
H-aggregate analysis of P3HT thin films-Capability and limitation of photoluminescence and UV/Vis spectroscopy
2016-09-01, Ehrenreich, Philipp, Birkhold, Susanne T., Zimmermann, Eugen, Hu, Hao, Kim, Kwang-Dae, Weickert, Jonas, Pfadler, Thomas, Schmidt-Mende, Lukas
Polymer morphology and aggregation play an essential role for efficient charge carrier transport and charge separation in polymer-based electronic devices. It is a common method to apply the H-aggregate model to UV/Vis or photoluminescence spectra in order to analyze polymer aggregation. In this work we present strategies to obtain reliable and conclusive information on polymer aggregation and morphology based on the application of an H-aggregate analysis on UV/Vis and photoluminescence spectra. We demonstrate, with P3HT as model system, that thickness dependent reflection behavior can lead to misinterpretation of UV/Vis spectra within the H-aggregate model. Values for the exciton bandwidth can deviate by a factor of two for polymer thicknesses below 150 nm. In contrast, photoluminescence spectra are found to be a reliable basis for characterization of polymer aggregation due to their weaker dependence on the wavelength dependent refractive index of the polymer. We demonstrate this by studying the influence of surface characteristics on polymer aggregation for spin-coated thin-films that are commonly used in organic and hybrid solar cells.
Organic and Hybrid Solar Cells : an Introduction
2016-01-23, Schmidt-Mende, Lukas, Weickert, Jonas
With the increasing world-energy demand there is a growing necessity for clean and renewable energy. The sun being one of the most abundant potential sources accounts for less than 1% of the global energy supply. The market for solar cells is one of the most strongly increasing markets, even though the prize of conventional solar cells is still quite high. New emerging technologies, such as organic and hybrid solar cells have the potential to decrease the price of solar energy drastically. This book offers an introduction to these new types of solar cells and discusses fabrication, different architectures and their device physics on the bases of the author's teaching course on a master degree level. A comparison with conventional solar cells will be given and the specialties of organic solar cells emphasized.
Decoupling optical and electronic optimization of organic solar cells using high-performance temperature-stable TiO2/Ag/TiO2 electrodes
2015, Kim, Kwang-Dae, Pfadler, Thomas, Zimmermann, Eugen, Feng, Yuyi, Dorman, James A., Weickert, Jonas, Schmidt-Mende, Lukas
An electrode structured with a TiO2/Ag/TiO2 (TAT) multilayer as indium tin oxide (ITO) replacement with a superior thermal stability has been successfully fabricated. This electrode allows to directly tune the optical cavity mode towards maximized photocurrent generation by varying the thickness of the layers in the sandwich structure. This enables tailored optimization of the transparent electrode for different organic thin film photovoltaics without alteration of their electro-optical properties. Organic photovoltaic featuring our TAT multilayer shows an improvement of ∼12% over the ITO reference and allows power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) up to 8.7% in PTB7:PC71BM devices.
Uniform Large-Area Free-Standing Silver Nanowire Arrays on Transparent Conducting Substrates
2016-06-14, Feng, Yuyi, Kim, Kwang-Dae, Nemitz, Clayton A., Kim, Paul, Pfadler, Thomas, Gerigk, Melanie, Polarz, Sebastian, Dorman, James A., Weickert, Jonas, Schmidt-Mende, Lukas
Arrays of silver nanowires have received increasing attention in a variety of applications such as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), plasmonic biosensing and electrode for photoelectric devices. However, until now, large scale fabrication of device-suitable silver nanowire arrays on supporting substrates has seen very limited success. Here we show the synthesis of free-standing silver nanowire arrays on indium-tin oxide (ITO) coated glass by pulsed electrodeposition into anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) templates. We use an in situ oxygen plasma cleaning process and a sputtered Ti layer to enhance the adhesion between the template and ITO glass. An ultrathin gold layer (2 nm) is deposited as a nucleation layer for the electrodeposition of silver. An unprecedented high level of uniformity and control of the nanowire diameter, spacing and length has been achieved. The absorption measurements show that the free-standing silver nanowire arrays possess tunable plasmonic resonances.
Erratum: Role of charge separation mechanism and local disorder at hybrid solar cell interfaces [Phys. Rev. B 91, 035304 (2015)]
2015, Ehrenreich, Philipp, Pfadler, Thomas, Paquin, Francis, Dion-Bertrand, Laura-Isabelle, Paré-Labrosse, Olivier, Silva, Carlos, Weickert, Jonas, Schmidt-Mende, Lukas
Toward High-Efficiency Solution-Processed Planar Heterojunction Sb2S3 Solar Cells
2015, Zimmermann, Eugen, Pfadler, Thomas, Kalb, Julian, Dorman, James A., Sommer, Daniel, Hahn, Giso, Weickert, Jonas, Schmidt-Mende, Lukas
Low-cost hybrid solar cells have made tremendous steps forward during the past decade owing to the implementation of extremely thin inorganic coatings as absorber layers, typically in combination with organic hole transporters. Using only extremely thin films of these absorbers reduces the requirement of single crystalline high-quality materials and paves the way for low-cost solution processing compatible with roll-to-roll fabrication processes. To date, the most efficient absorber material, except for the recently introduced organic–inorganic lead halide perovskites, has been Sb2S3, which can be implemented in hybrid photovoltaics using a simple chemical bath deposition. Current high-efficiency Sb2S3 devices utilize absorber coatings on nanostructured TiO2 electrodes in combination with polymeric hole transporters. This geometry has so far been the state of the art, even though flat junction devices would be conceptually simpler with the additional potential of higher open circuit voltages due to reduced charge carrier recombination. Besides, the role of the hole transporter is not completely clarified yet. In particular, additional photocurrent contribution from the polymers has not been directly shown, which points toward detrimental parasitic light absorption in the polymers. This study presents a fine-tuned chemical bath deposition method that allows fabricating solution-processed low-cost flat junction Sb2S3 solar cells with the highest open circuit voltage reported so far for chemical bath devices and efficiencies exceeding 4%. Characterization of back-illuminated solar cells in combination with transfer matrix-based simulations further allows to address the issue of absorption losses in the hole transport material and outline a pathway toward more efficient future devices.