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Opt Express. 2010 Nov 8;18 Suppl 4:A528-35. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.00A528.

Effect of gold nanopillar arrays on the absorption spectrum of a bulk heterojunction organic solar cell.

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  • 1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.


We report on the effect of arrays of Au nanopillars of controlled size and spacing on the spectral response of a P3HT: PCBM bulk heterojunction solar cell. Prototype nanopillar-patterned devices have nearly the same overall power conversion efficiency as those without nanopillars. The patterned devices do show higher external quantum efficiency and calculated absorption in the wavelength range from approximately 640 nm to 720 nm, where the active layer is not very absorbing. The peak enhancement was approximately 60% at 675 nm. We find evidence that the corresponding resonance involves both localized particle plasmon excitation and multiple reflections/diffraction within the cavity formed by the electrodes. We explore the role of the attenuation coefficient of the active layer on the optical absorption of such an organic photovoltaic device.

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