Annick Anctil


Organic solar cells performances are mainly limited by photon absorption due to the mismatch between the conducting polymer and the solar spectrum, as well as, exciton diffusion since the excitons are not efficiently dissociated into free charges. Nanomaterials such as fullerenes, quantum dots, and carbon nanotubes were investigated in combination with conjugated polymers to allow for a broader harvesting of the solar spectrum. For P3HT:PCBM solar cells, optimal efficiencies were obtained using a combination of annealing before, as well as, after contact deposition. Using the concepts developed for P3HT, the effect of solvent, molecular weight, and the type of fullerenes was investigated using MEH-PPV. Efficiencies were increased from 0.57% to 2.06% under AMI. 5 by optimizing the polymer molecular weight, the device thickness and the fullerene derivative. Three types of quantum dots were investigated to enhance photoconversion below the polymer absorption: CdSe, InP and InAs QDs. Sub-bandgap photoconversion was observed around 1.3 eV for InAs QDs. Finally, both SWNT and WMNT were investigated for improved charge dissociation and transport in organic solar cells. The maximum loading of carbon nanotubes was increased by using cut carbon nanotubes as well as by using an intrinsic layer. The most promising option for using carbon nanotubes in polymeric solar cells was found to be the MWNT aligned arrays.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Solar cells--Materials; Conjugated polymers; Nanotubes; Nanostructured materials

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Materials Science and Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Chemistry and Materials Science (COS)


Ryne P. Raffaelle


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TK2960 .A62 2007


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