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7 March 2014 Hybrid bulk heterojunction solar cells based on low band gap polymers and CdSe nanocrystals
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Solar energy converters based on organic semiconductors are inexpensive, can be layered onto flexible surfaces, and show great promise for photovoltaics. In bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells, charges are separated at the interface of two materials, an electron donor and an electron acceptor. Typically, only the donor effectively absorbs light. Therefore, the use of an acceptor with a wide absorption spectrum and high extinction coefficient and charge mobility should increase the efficiency of bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells. Semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots and rods) are good candidate acceptors for these solar cells. Recently, most progress in the development of bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells was achieved using PCBM, a traditional fullerene acceptor, and two low band gap polymers, poly[N- 9'-heptadecanyl-2,7-carbazole-alt-5,5-(4',7'-di-2-thienyl-2',1',3'-benzothiadiazole)] (PCDTBT) and poly

4,8-bis[(2- ethylhexyl)oxy]benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b']dithiophene-2,6-diyl][3-fluoro-2-[(2-ethylhexyl)carbonyl]thieno[3,4-b] thiophenediyl

(PTB7). Therefore, the possibility of combining these polymers with semiconductor nanocrystals deserves consideration. Here, we present the first comparison of solar cells based on PCDTBT and PTB7 where CdSe quantum dots serve as acceptors. We have found that PTB7-based cells are more efficient than PCDTBT-based ones. The efficiency also strongly depends on the nanocrystal size. An increase in the QD diameter from 5 to 10 nm causes a more than fourfold increase in the cell efficiency. This is determined by the relationship between the nanoparticle size and energy spectrum, its pattern clearly demonstrating how the mutual positions of the donor and acceptor levels affect the solar cell efficiency. These results will help to develop novel, improved nanohybrid components of solar cells based on organic semiconductors and semiconductor nanocrystals.
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Sergey Dayneko, Alexey Tameev, Marine Tedoradze, Igor Martynov, Pavel Linkov, Pavel Samokhvalov, Igor Nabiev, and Alexander Chistyakov "Hybrid bulk heterojunction solar cells based on low band gap polymers and CdSe nanocrystals", Proc. SPIE 8981, Physics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices III, 898113 (7 March 2014);

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