P3HT:PCBM-based organic solar cells : Optimisation of active layer nanostructure and interface properties.

KADEM, Burak Yahya. (2017). P3HT:PCBM-based organic solar cells : Optimisation of active layer nanostructure and interface properties. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Organic solar cells (OSCs) have attracted a significant attention during the last decade due to their simple processability on a flexible substrate as well as scope for large-scale production using role to role technique. Improving the performance of the organic solar cells and their lifetime stability are one of the main challenges faced by researchers in this field. In this thesis, work has been carried out using a blend of Poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT) and [6,6]-Phenyl C[61] butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) as an active layer in the ratio of (1:1) (P3HT:PCBM). The efficiency and stability of P3HT:PCBM-based solar cells have been examined using different methods and employing novel materials such as1-[N-(2-ethoxyethyl) pent-4-ynamide] -8 (11), 15 (18), 22 (25) -tris-{2-[2-(2-ethoxyethoxy) ethoxy]-1-[2-((2- ethoxyethoxy) - ethoxy) methyl] ethyloxy} phthalocyaninato zinc (II) (ZnPc) to construct a ternary hybrid as the active layer. Controlling the morphology and crystallinity of P3HT:PCBM active layer was carried out using different solvents including chloroform (CF), chlorobenzene (CB) and dichlorobenzene (DCB) and their co-solvents in the ratio of (1:1) to dissolve the P3HT:PCBM blend. Optimum morphology and crystallinity were achieved using a co-solvent made of CB:CF with the obtained solar cell exhibiting the highest performance with PCE reaching 2.73% among other devices prepared using different solvents. Further device performance improvement was observed through optimization of active layer thickness with studied thickness falling in range 65-266 nm. Measurements of the PV characteristics of the investigated OSC devices have revealed optimum performance when active layer thickness was 95 nm with PCE=3.846%. The stability of the P3HT:PCBM-based devices on optimisation of the active layer thickness has shown a decrease in PCE of about 71% over a period of 41 days. Furthermore, P3HT has been blended with different fullerene derivatives (PC[60]BM, PC[61]BM, PC[70]BM and PC[71]BM) and the active layers were processed using the optimum solvent as well as optimum film's thickness.These PCBM derivatives have different lower unoccupied molecular level (LUMO) and different higher occupied molecular level (HOMO) positions, which subsequently influence the PV parameters of the OSCs such as the device open circuit voltage (V[oc]) and its built-in potential (V[bi]). P3HT:PC61BM-based blend has exhibited the highest device performance with PCE reaching 4.2%. Using the above mentioned optimum parameters, the P3HT:PCBM-based devices have been subjected to post-deposition annealing at different temperatures in the range 100-180°C. Efficient device performance was ascribed to P3HT:PCBM layers being subjected to post-deposition heat treatment at 140°C with PCE=5.5%. Device stability as a result of post-deposition heat treatment has also been shown to improve with PCE degrading by about 38% after 55 days.The use of interfacial layer is found to play a key part in modifying the solar cell performance; using electron transport layer (ETL) such as aluminium tris(8-hydroxyquinoline) (Alq3) as a solution processable layer has contributed in increasing PCE to 4.25%, while, using PEDOT:PSS as a hole transport layer (HTL) doped with metal salts has significantly contributed in increasing PCE to reach 6.82% in device when PEDOT:PSS was doped with LiCl aqueous solution. Stability study for the device based on HTL has shown degradation in the PCE from 6.82% to around 1% over 96 days. Using ETL and HTL simultaneously in a complete device has shown a further enhanced PCE reaching 7%. In a further study, doping the P3HT:PCBM with the novel ZnPc hybrids (SWCNTs and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) are covalently and non-covalently functionalised to ZnPc) with the weight ratio of (1:0.01) has significantly altered the solar cell device properties. The best performance is based on P3HT:PCBM blended with ZnPc-SWCNTs-co bonded as a ternary active layer demonstrating device PCE of 5.3% compared to a reference device based on bare P3HT:PCBM blend with PCE of 3.46%.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Hassan, Aseel [0000-0002-7891-8087]
Thesis advisor - Dharmadasa, I
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2017.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:20
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:04
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19891

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