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Issue 41, 2011
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Optical and electrical properties of efficiency enhanced polymer solar cells with Au nanoparticles in a PEDOT–PSS layer

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Abstract

We unveil new device physics and provide details of device mechanisms by investigating polymer solar cells (PSCs) incorporating Au nanoparticles (NPs) into the hole collection poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) layer. Theoretical and experimental results show that the very strong near field around Au NPs due to Localized Surface Plasmonic Resonance (LSPR) mainly distributes laterally along the PEDOT:PSS layer rather than vertically into the adjacent active layer, leading to minimal enhancement of light absorption in the active layer. This finding can be extended to a typical class of solar cells incorporating metallic NPs in spacing layers adjacent to the active layer. With optical effects proven to be minor contributors to device performance improvements, we investigate the electrical properties of the PSCs and obtain insights into the detailed device mechanisms. Improvements in power conversion efficiency (PCE) of solar cells are found to originate from the enlarged active layer/PEDOT:PSS interfacial area and improved PEDOT:PSS conductivity. At high NP concentrations, reduced exciton quenching at donor/acceptor junctions is found to cause PCE deterioration. Our findings indicate that it is highly important to investigate both optical and electrical effects for understanding and optimizing PSC performances.

Graphical abstract: Optical and electrical properties of efficiency enhanced polymer solar cells with Au nanoparticles in a PEDOT–PSS layer

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Jun 2011, accepted on 08 Aug 2011 and first published on 07 Sep 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1JM12820E
J. Mater. Chem., 2011,21, 16349-16356

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    Optical and electrical properties of efficiency enhanced polymer solar cells with Au nanoparticles in a PEDOT–PSS layer

    D. D. S. Fung, L. Qiao, W. C. H. Choy, C. Wang, W. E. I. Sha, F. Xie and S. He, J. Mater. Chem., 2011, 21, 16349
    DOI: 10.1039/C1JM12820E

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