Silicon nanocrystal hybrid photovoltaic devices for indoor light energy harvesting†
Silicon nanocrystals (SiNCs) featuring size-dependent novel optical and electrical properties have been widely employed for various functional devices. We have demonstrated SiNC-based hybrid photovoltaics (SiNC-HPVs) and proposed several approaches for performance promotion. Recently, owing to the superiorities such as low power operation, high portability, and designability, organic photovoltaics (OPVs) have been extensively studied for their potential indoor applications as power sources. SiNCs exhibit strong light absorption below 450 nm, which is capable of sufficient photocurrent generation under UV irradiation. Therefore, SiNC-HPVs are expected to be preferably used for energy harvesting systems in indoor applications because an indoor light source consists of a shorter wavelength component below 500 nm than solar light. We successfully demonstrated SiNC-HPVs with a PCE as high as 9.7%, corresponding to the output power density of 34.0 μW cm−2 under standard indoor light irradiation (1000 lx). In addition, we have found that SiNC defects working as electron traps influence the electrical properties of SiNCs substantially, a thermal annealing process was conducted towards the suppression of defects and the improvement of the SiNC-HPVs performance.