Open Access Nano Express

Low-temperature synthesis of multilayer graphene/amorphous carbon hybrid films and their potential application in solar cells

Tongxiang Cui1, Ruitao Lv2*, Zheng-Hong Huang1, Hongwei Zhu34, Yi Jia5, Shuxiao Chen1, Kunlin Wang3, Dehai Wu3 and Feiyu Kang15*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China

2 Department of Physics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 16802, USA

3 Key Laboratory for Advanced Manufacturing by Materials Processing Technology of the Ministry of Education, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China

4 Center for Nano and Micro Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China

5 Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, 518055, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:453  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-453

Published: 11 August 2012


The effect of reaction temperature on the synthesis of graphitic thin film on nickel substrate was investigated in the range of 400°C to 1,000°C. Amorphous carbon (a-C) film was obtained at 400°C on nickel foils by chemical vapor deposition; hybrid films of multilayer graphene (MLG) and a-C were synthesized at a temperature of 600°C, while MLG was obtained at temperatures in excess of 800°C. Schottky-junction solar cell devices prepared using films produced at 400°C, 600°C, 800°C, and 1,000°C coupled with n-type Si demonstrate power conversion efficiencies of 0.003%, 0.256%, 0.391%, and 0.586%, respectively. A HNO3 treatment has further improved the efficiencies of the corresponding devices to 0.004%, 1.080%, 0.800%, and 0.820%, respectively. These films are promising materials for application in low-cost and simple carbon-based solar cells.

Graphene; Amorphous carbon; Temperature effect; Nickel foil; Solar cell; HNO3 treatment