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Open Access Nano Express

In situ-prepared composite materials of PEDOT: PSS buffer layer-metal nanoparticles and their application to organic solar cells

Sungho Woo1*, Jae Hoon Jeong12, Hong Kun Lyu1, Yoon Soo Han3 and Youngkyoo Kim2*

Author Affiliations

1 Green Energy Research Division, Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), Daegu, 711-873, South Korea

2 Organic Nanoelectronics Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, 702-701, South Korea

3 Department of Advanced Energy Material Science and Engineering, Catholic University of Daegu, Gyeongbuk, 712-702, South Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:641  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-641

Published: 23 November 2012

Abstract

We report an enhancement in the efficiency of organic solar cells via the incorporation of gold (Au) or silver (Ag) nanoparticles (NPs) in the hole-transporting buffer layer of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), which was formed on an indium tin oxide (ITO) surface by the spin-coating of PEDOT:PSS-Au or Ag NPs composite solution. The composite solution was synthesized by a simple in situ preparation method which involved the reduction of chloroauric acid (HAuCl4) or silver nitrate (AgNO3) with sodium borohydride (NaBH4) solution in the presence of aqueous PEDOT:PSS media. The NPs were well dispersed in the PEDOT:PSS media and showed a characteristic absorption peak due to the surface plasmon resonance effect. Organic solar cells with the structure of ITO/PEDOT:PSS-Au, Ag NPs/poly(3-hexylthiophene):[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (P3HT:PCBM)/LiF/Al exhibited an 8% improvement in their power conversion efficiency mainly due to the enlarged surface roughness of the PEDOT:PSS, which lead to an improvement in the charge collection and ultimately improvements in the short-circuit current density and fill factor.

Keywords:
In situ preparation; PEDOT:PSS-metal NPs; Enhanced light absorption; Organic solar cells