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Nanostructured Inverted Organic Photovoltaic Cells

  • Author / Creator
    Thomas, Michael
  • Organic photovoltaic cells (OPVs)are promising devices for inexpensive power generation from sunlight. Organic semiconductors, the basic materials for OPVs, can be fabricated using a broad range of fabrication technologies from vapor deposition to solution processing. Upon light absorption, a strongly bound exciton is generated which can diffuse to a donor-acceptor heterojunction. At this interface it can be dissociated into free charge carriers which can be collected by the device electrodes. A major challenge for OPVs are short exciton diffusion lengths of up to 20 nm. Morphology engineering is required in order to harvest the exciton before it recombines and improve OPV performance. This work focuses on the study of nanostructured morphologies for use in inverted architecture OPVs. Glancing angle deposition (GLAD)is employed to fabricate nanocolumnar acceptor films. Through combining these nanostructured C60 films with a conjugated polymer donor P3CBT and a small molecule 3-Q, inverted OPVs are fabricated with the goal to analyze effect of morphology engineering on device performance. A major challenge was that C60 were found to be soluble in most commonly used organic solvents such as dichlorobenzene or chloroform. Although this challenge has limited the donor choice and therefore has limited device performance, a significant effect of morphology engineering could be observed. All GLAD structured C60 OPVs outperformed state of the art architectures such as planar films and bulk heterojunctions fabricated with the same materials. For P3CBT in particular the GLAD structured devices exhibited a twofold increase in power conversion efficiency compared with bulk heterojunctions and a fourfold increase compared with planar devices. In a further study, the acceptor materials PTCDA and C60 were co-evaporated into a single film. PTCDA is stable against non-polar organic solvents while C60 provides a high electron mobility. Nanocolumnar acceptor blended PTCDA:C60 films were proven to remain stable when treated with dichlorobenzene. Furthermore, optical and electronic properties of these acceptor blends were investigated.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2013-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3W333
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Specialization
    • Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems and Nanosystems
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Brett, Michael J. (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Tsui, Ying Y. (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
    • Barlage, Douglas W. (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
    • Muth, John F. (North Carolina State University, Electrical Engineering)
    • McDermott, Mark T. (Chemistry)
    • Dinavahi, Venkata (Electrical and Computer Engineering)