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Issue 11, 2012
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Organic photovoltaic devices with colloidal TiO2 nanorods as key functional components

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Abstract

We report on a novel approach to integrate colloidal anatase TiO2 nanorods as key functional components into polymer bulk heterojunction (BHJ) photovoltaic devices by means of mild, all-solution-based processing techniques. The successful integration of colloidal nanoparticles in organic solar cells relies on the ability to remove the long chain insulating ligands, which indeed severely reduces the charge transport. To this aim we have exploited the concomitant mechanisms of UV-light-driven photocatalytic removal of adsorbed capping ligands and hydrophilicization of TiO2 surfaces in both solid-state and liquid-phase conditions. We have demonstrated the successful integration of the UV-irradiated films and colloidal solutions of TiO2 nanorods in inverted and conventional solar cell geometries, respectively. The inverted devices show a power conversion efficiency of 2.3% that is a ca. three times improvement over their corresponding cell counterparts incorporating untreated TiO2, demonstrating the excellent electron-collecting property of the UV-irradiated TiO2 films. The integration of UV-treated TiO2 solutions in conventional devices results in doubled power conversion efficiency for the thinner active layer and in maximum power conversion efficiency of 2.8% for 110 nm thick devices. In addition, we have demonstrated, with the support of device characterizations and optical simulations, that the TiO2 nanocrystal buffer layer acts both as electron-transporting/hole-blocking material and optical spacer.

Graphical abstract: Organic photovoltaic devices with colloidal TiO2 nanorods as key functional components

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Dec 2011, accepted on 12 Dec 2011 and first published on 10 Feb 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2CP23971J
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012,14, 3987-3995
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    Organic photovoltaic devices with colloidal TiO2 nanorods as key functional components

    A. Loiudice, A. Rizzo, L. De Marco, M. R. Belviso, G. Caputo, P. D. Cozzoli and G. Gigli, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012, 14, 3987
    DOI: 10.1039/C2CP23971J

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