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Optical simulations of P3HT/Si nanowire array hybrid solar cells

Wenbo Wang1, Xinhua Li1*, Long Wen2, Yufeng Zhao1, Huahua Duan1, Bukang Zhou1, Tongfei Shi1, Xuesong Zeng1, Ning Li1 and Yuqi Wang1

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory of Material Physics, Institute of Solid State Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031, China

2 Key Laboratory of Nanodevices and Applications, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou 215123, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:238  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-238

Published: 14 May 2014

Abstract

An optical simulation of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT)/Si nanowire array (NWA) hybrid solar cells was investigated to evaluate the optical design requirements of the system by using finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method. Steady improvement of light absorption was obtained with increased P3HT coating shell thickness from 0 to 80 nm on Si NWA. Further increasing the thickness caused dramatic decrease of the light absorption. Combined with the analysis of ultimate photocurrents, an optimum geometric structure with a coating P3HT thickness of 80 nm was proposed. At this structure, the hybrid solar cells show the most efficient light absorption. The optimization of the geometric structure and further understanding of the optical characteristics may contribute to the development for the practical experiment of the promising hybrid solar cells.

Keywords:
P3HT; Si nanowire array; Hybrid solar cells; Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method