Polymer-nanoparticle composites for solar cells

Chaudhry, Farah (2012) Polymer-nanoparticle composites for solar cells. (MSc(R) thesis), Kingston University, .


This research investigates the effect of composition on the fabrication and characteristics of hybrid solar cells which consist of an electron-donating conjugated polymer, namely Poly (3-hexylthiphene) (P3HT) combined with an electron-accepting component, which is a type of inorganic compound of ZnO nanoparticles. The composition of P3HT/ZnO blends is varied in thin films, and the optimum performance of the different devices created studied. The first stage of the work involved synthesis of poly (3-hexylthiophene-2, 5-diyl) or (P3HT). The second stage focused on thin film preparation from a blend of P3HT and ZnO nanopowder in a solvent, and finally photovoltaic device construction. Various techniques were used to characterise the polythiophene synthesised, such as Infrared Spectroscopy, Ultra Violet (UV) Spectroscopy, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) Spectroscopy, Fluorescence Spectroscopy, Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Conductivity measurements. The electrical characteristics of the photovoltaic device were tested using I-V measurements. P3HT was synthesised successfully and the P3HT/ZnO films showed consistent results. Solar cells were constructed with different compositions. The photovoltaic effect was observed in the I-V curves, Photovoltaic conversion efficiences and Energy barrier heights were calculated for comparison.

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