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In semiconductor photovoltaics, a pn-junction is formed by bringing together doped p-type and n-type materials
Recombination at the junction creates a depletion region with a large built-in electric field
Electrons/holes are created when a photon is absorbed, and if in the depletion region, will be pushed in opposite directions by the electric field.
Organic Solar Cells
Organic solar cells are of interest due to their cheaper fabrication, installation and materials costs. However, they have lower efficiencies.
The polymers poly-3-hexylthiophene (P3HT) and Phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) are mixed together to form an interpenetrating network of p and n type material called a bulk heterojunction.
This device, if realized experimentally could show that the light absorption and the efficiency will be higher with a thinner active layer. The efficiency improvement arises in large part because at 60nm active layer thickness there would be less recombination.
GOAL Verify the calculations that thinner samples can absorb as much as very thick samples depending on the thickness of the front electrode for regular and inverted structures LET’S DO IT!
How we make slides Use commercial ITO glass, or Sputter-coat ITO Mix Polymers together, dissolve well Spin coat polymers at various speeds Evaporate Aluminum or Sputter-coat Silver Sputter-coater Some finished Samples Evaporator
These samples were made with sputtered Silver 65.6 nm thick, spin coated polymer, and sputtered ITO 101.3 nm thick
Some of these graphs have features that match up nicely, but thicker silver is desired
Our ITO, PV, Silver
These samples were made with sputtered ITO 68.3 nm thick, spin coated polymer, and sputtered Silver 83.3 nm thick.
The data vs. the calculations do not match up quite nicely, except for some bigger features. Could be an oddity in the ITO used
Commercial ITO, PV, Silver
These samples were made by Commercial ITO 100nm thick, spin coated polymers, and sputtered Silver 83.3 nm thick on top.
Here, the red line (66.1 nm thick PV layer) shows the big features of the calculations. This is significant because it is absorbing more light out at longer wavelengths.
How does it further the big picture?
If more samples of the thinner PV can be made to match the calculations, then each different structure will absorb more light.
Since the exiton has less room for recombination, it will more likely create work and thus give these organic solar cells greater efficiencies. With greater efficiencies, organic solar cells could be mass produced