Open Access Highly Accessed Nano Express

Nanostructured conformal hybrid solar cells: a promising architecture towards complete charge collection and light absorption

Diana C Iza1, David Muñoz-Rojas1, Kevin P Musselman2, Jonas Weickert34, Andreas C Jakowetz4, Haiyan Sun4, Xin Ren1, Robert L Z Hoye1, Joon H Lee5, Haiyan Wang5, Lukas Schmidt-Mende3 and Judith L MacManus-Driscoll1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Materials Science, University of Cambridge, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, UK

2 Department of Physics, University of Cambridge, JJ Thompson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK

3 Department of Physics, University of Konstanz, POB M 680, Constance 78457, Germany

4 Department of Physics and Center for NanoScience, Ludwig Maximilian University, Amalienstr. 54, Munich 80799, Germany

5 Department of Electrical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:359  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-359

Published: 22 August 2013

Abstract

We introduce hybrid solar cells with an architecture consisting of an electrodeposited ZnO nanorod array (NRA) coated with a conformal thin layer (<50 nm) of organic polymer-fullerene blend and a quasi-conformal Ag top contact (Thin/NR). We have compared the performance of Thin/NR cells to conventional hybrid cells in which the same NRAs are completely filled with organic blend (Thick/NR). The Thin/NR design absorbs at least as much light as Thick/NR cells, while charge extraction is significantly enhanced due to the proximity of the electrodes, resulting in a higher current density per unit volume of blend and improved power conversion efficiency. The NRAs need not be periodic or aligned and hence can be made very simply.