Enhanced power conversion efficiency (PCE(%)) with improved optical path length from two types of shape controlled silver (Ag) materials (Ag nanoplates versus Ag nanoparticles (NPs)) was studied in poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT)/[6,6]-phenyl C71 butyric acid methyl-ester (PC71BM) or poly[N-9′′-hepta-decanyl-2,7-carbazole-alt-5,5-(4′,7′-di-2-thienyl-2′,1′,3′-benzothiadiazole)] (PCDTBT)/[6,6]-phenyl C71 butyric acid methyl-ester (PC71BM) bulk heterojunction (BHJ) devices. The Ag nanoplates and Ag NPs can be synthesized by simple solution polyol chemistry with well defined size and shape. A BHJ with a 0.5 wt% optimized blend ratio of Ag nanoplates shows improved cell performance and photo-current density than a BHJ with Ag NPs owing to the enhanced light absorption with the results of an excitation of localized surface plasmon and efficient light scattering by the Ag nanoplates embedded BHJ film. When the BHJ is combined with the Ag nanoplates at an optimized ratio of 0.5 wt%, the PCE (%) increases from 3.2% to 4.4% in P3HT/PC71BM, and from 5.9% to 6.6% in PCDTBT/PC71BM BHJ devices.
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