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J Phys Chem B. 2005 May 19;109(19):9505-16.

Hybrid zinc oxide conjugated polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells.

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Molecular Materials and Nanosystems, Department of Chemical Engineering & Chemistry, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands.


Bulk heterojunction photovoltaic devices based on blends of a conjugated polymer poly[2-methoxy-5-(3',7'-dimethyloctyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene] (MDMO-PPV) as electron donor and crystalline ZnO nanoparticles (nc-ZnO) as electron acceptor have been studied. Composite nc-ZnO:MDMO-PPV films were cast from a common solvent mixture. Time-resolved pump-probe spectroscopy revealed that a photoinduced electron transfer from MDMO-PPV to nc-ZnO occurs in these blends on a sub-picosecond time scale and produces a long-lived (milliseconds) charge-separated state. The photovoltaic effect in devices, made by sandwiching the active nc-ZnO:MDMO-PPV layer between charge-selective electrodes, has been studied as a function of the ZnO concentration and the thickness of the layer. We also investigated changing the degree and type of mixing of the two components through the use of a surfactant for ZnO and by altering the size and shape of the nc-ZnO particles. Optimized devices have an estimated AM1.5 performance of 1.6% with incident photon to current conversion efficiencies up to 50%. Photoluminescence spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy have been used to gain insight in the morphology of these blends.

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