Improved Efficiency of a PCBM/P3HT Organic Solar Cell through the Addition of CuO Nano-Wires

Hilman, Joann
With today's growing energy demand it is imperative that we increase the usage of clean and renewable energy sources. Solar cells have the potential to provide us with the majority of our energy. While there are many types of solar cells, organic cells offer a low fabrication cost with a high efficiency. PCBM/P3HT is a commonly used material for the active layer in a solar cell. The reported active layer absorption coefficient is typically in the order of 104 cm-1 which would imply an active layer thickness of around 1000 nm. However, the best achieved power conversion efficiency of this type of OSC was reported to be ~10%, with an optimum thickness reported to be around 100 nm or less. This decrease of the PCE in a thick active layer is due to the resulting longer path for charge collection. The path of charge collection can be reduced by extending the electrode into the active layer. For my project I have explored the use of CuO nanowires as a low cost method of extending the electrode. I will discuss a PSCBM\P3HT solar cell design that makes use of CuO nanowires to improve cell efficiency.
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