Issue 40, 2013

Exploring polymer/nanoparticle hybrid solar cells in tandem architecture


Tandem solar cells offer the possibility to significantly enhance solar cell performance through harvesting a broader part of the solar spectrum by using complementary absorbing materials. We report on tandem solar cells, with at least one polymer/nanoparticle hybrid layer as absorber material, in which the nanoparticles are prepared in situ by thermal decomposition of metal xanthates directly in the polymer matrix. In a first series, we investigated a hybrid–organic tandem solar cell, with a hybrid solar cell consisting of the silafluorene containing low band gap polymer PSiF-DBT and copper indium sulphide (CIS) nanoparticles as the bottom cell, and a low band gap polymer (PTB7)/fullerene derivative (PC61BM) organic solar cell as the top cell in order to study different recombination layers. Tandem devices with open circuit voltages nearly reaching the sum of the individual cells have been realised. The short circuit current is equal to the value of the hybrid single cell and a fill factor above 50% is obtained, leading to power conversion efficiencies of about 4.1%. Furthermore, the first results on hybrid–hybrid tandem solar cells consisting of two PSiF-DBT/CIS solar cells are presented. Although the preparation of these double hybrid devices is challenging because of the necessity of two thermal annealing steps, the resulting multilayer stack reveals smooth and homogeneous layers with sharp interfaces. The first working hybrid–hybrid tandem solar cells still exhibited 81% of the sum of the open circuit voltages of the single junction solar cells.

Graphical abstract: Exploring polymer/nanoparticle hybrid solar cells in tandem architecture

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
12 Apr 2013
29 Jul 2013
First published
01 Aug 2013
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

RSC Adv., 2013,3, 18643-18650

Exploring polymer/nanoparticle hybrid solar cells in tandem architecture

V. Kaltenhauser, T. Rath, M. Edler, A. Reichmann and G. Trimmel, RSC Adv., 2013, 3, 18643 DOI: 10.1039/C3RA43842B

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