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Nano Lett. 2007 Aug;7(8):2317-21. Epub 2007 Jul 3.

Double-walled carbon nanotube solar cells.

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  • 1Key Lab for Advanced Manufacturing by Materials Processing Technology of Education Ministry, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.


We directly configured double-walled carbon nanotubes as energy conversion materials to fabricate thin-film solar cells, with nanotubes serving as both photogeneration sites and a charge carriers collecting/transport layer. The solar cells consist of a semitransparent thin film of nanotubes conformally coated on a n-type crystalline silicon substrate to create high-density p-n heterojunctions between nanotubes and n-Si to favor charge separation and extract electrons (through n-Si) and holes (through nanotubes). Initial tests have shown a power conversion efficiency of >1%, proving that DWNTs-on-Si is a potentially suitable configuration for making solar cells. Our devices are distinct from previously reported organic solar cells based on blends of polymers and nanomaterials, where conjugate polymers generate excitons and nanotubes only serve as a transport path.

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