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Nanostructured Hybrid Polymer−Inorganic Solar Cell Active Layers Formed by Controllable in Situ Growth of Semiconducting Sulfide Networks

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journal contribution
posted on 14.04.2010, 00:00 by Henry C. Leventis, Simon P. King, Anna Sudlow, Michael S. Hill, Kieran C. Molloy, Saif A. Haque
Nanostructured composites of inorganic and organic materials are attracting extensive interest for electronic and optoelectronic device applications. In this paper, we introduce a general method for the fabrication of metal sulfide nanoparticle/polymer films employing a low-cost and low temperature route compatible with large-scale device manufacturing. Our approach is based upon the controlled in situ thermal decomposition of a solution processable metal xanthate precursor complex in a semiconducting polymer film. To demonstrate the versatility of our method, we fabricate a CdS/P3HT nanocomposite film and show that the metal sulfide network inside the polymer film assists in the absorption of visible light and enables the achievement of high yields of charge photogeneration at the CdS/P3HT heterojunction. Photovoltaic devices based upon such nanocomposite films show solar light to electrical energy conversion efficiencies of 0.7% under full AM1.5 illumination and 1.2% under 10% incident power, demonstrating the potential of such nanocomposite films for low-cost photovoltaic devices.