The effects of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) incorporated in the hole transporting layer (HTL) of Poly[[4,8-bis[(2-ethylhexyl)oxy] benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b'] dithiophene-2, 6-diyl] [3-fluoro-2-[(2-ethylhexy)carbonyl]thieno[3,4-b]thiophened iyl]] (PTB7): [6,6]-Phenyl C71 butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM) based solar cells are being systematically investigated in terms of the optical properties, electrical properties and photovoltaic performance. The impacts of AuNPs on the optical response of the devices are modeled by finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulation. The size of the AuNPs used in this work is around 50-70 nm, so that 10-20 nm penetrated from the HTL into the active layer. We found that the power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of the devices with AuNPs are significantly enhanced from 7.5%, for the control device, to 8.0%, 8.1% and 8.2% for Au nanosphere-, nanorod- and nanocube-incorporated devices respectively. Among the photovoltaic parameters of the AuNP devices, the short circuit current density (JSC) exhibits the largest improvement, which can be attributed to the improved optical properties of the devices. Based on the calculation results, the scattering cross section for the samples in the presence of AuNPs can be enhanced by a factor of ~1010-1013 and Au nanocubes exhibit superior scattering cross section compared to the Au nanospheres and nanorods with the same linear dimension. From the experimental impedance spectroscopy results, we found that the addition of AuNPs had little effect on the electrical properties of the device. The device performance is also found to be sensitive to the concentration and morphology of the AuNPs.
Delafossite CuFeO2 hexagonal platelets/rings and graphene composites were synthesized by a low temperature hydrothermal method. The formation mechanism of CuFeO2 hexagonal platelets/rings follows the combined effects of both GO and NaOH. The obtained composites as anode materials display a good battery performance with high reversible capacity, good rate capability and cyclic stability.
Semiconductor-sensitized solar cells (SSCs) are emerging as promising devices for achieving efficient and low-cost solar-energy conversion. The recent progress in the development of ZnO-nanostructure-based SSCs is reviewed here, and the key issues for their efficiency improvement, such as enhancing light harvesting and increasing carrier generation, separation, and collection, are highlighted from aspects of surface-engineering techniques. The impact of other factors such as electrolyte and counter electrodes on the photovoltaic performance is also addressed. The current challenges and perspectives for the further advance of ZnO-based SSCs are discussed.
Tetragonal CuInS2 (CIS) has been successfully deposited onto mesoporous TiO2 films by in-sequence growth of InxS and CuyS via a successive ionic layer absorption and reaction (SILAR) process and postdeposition annealing in sulfur ambiance. X-ray diffraction and Raman measurements showed that the obtained tetragonal CIS consisted of a chalcopyrite phase and Cu-Au ordering, which related with the antisite defect states. For a fixed Cu-S deposition cycle, an interface layer of ?-In2S3 formed at the TiO2/CIS interface with suitable excess deposition of In-S. In the meantime, the content of the Cu-Au ordering phase decreased to a reasonable level. These facts resulted in the retardance of electron recombination in the cells, which is proposed to be dominated by electron transfer from the conduction band of TiO2 to the unoccupied defect states in CIS via exponentially distributed surface states. As a result, a relatively high efficiency of ~0.92% (V(oc) = 0.35 V, J(sc) = 8.49 mA cm(-2), and FF = 0.31) has been obtained. Last, but not least, with an overloading of the sensitizers, a decrease in the interface area between the sensitized TiO2 and electrolytes resulted in deceleration of hole extraction from CIS to the electrolytes, leading to a decrease in the fill factor of the solar cells. It is indicated that the unoccupied states in CIS with energy levels below EF0 of the TiO2 films play an important role in the interface electron recombination at low potentials and has a great influence on the fill factor of the solar cells.
Annealing is a common method to improve the efficiency of polymer photovoltaic cells. Annealing changes the microphase separation in a polymer blend film and typically also results in a change in its optical properties. We investigated the optical properties of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT):[6,6]-phenyl C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) before and after thermal annealing using spectroscopic ellipsometry and transmission measurements, with simultaneous fitting of samples with different thicknesses to ensure reliability of extracted index of refraction values. We found that, after annealing, it is necessary to consider an anisotropic model to describe the properties of P3HT:PCBM blend films, which reflects the increased order of P3HT chains as a result of annealing. Different fitting models (simple anisotropic layer, graded isotropic, graded anisotropic model, generalized oscillator, and oscillator model including Huang-Rhys vibronic envelope) have been compared and discussed. The effect of the number of samples used for fitting and surface roughness corrections is also discussed.
We present a high-yield and low cost thermal evaporation-induced anhydrous strategy to prepare hybrid materials of Fe3O4 nanoparticles and graphene as an advanced anode for high-performance lithium ion batteries. The ~10-20 nm Fe3O4 nanoparticles are densely anchored on conducting graphene sheets and act as spacers to keep the adjacent sheets separated. The Fe3O4-graphene composite displays a superior battery performance with high retained capacity of 868 mA h g(-1) up to 100 cycles at a current density of 200 mA g(-1), and 539 mA h g(-1) up to 200 cycles when cycling at 1000 mA g(-1), high Coulombic efficiency (above 99% after 200 cycles), good rate capability, and excellent cyclic stability. The simple approach offers a promising route to prepare anode materials for practical fabrication of lithium ion batteries.
Emission enhancement from single semiconductor CdSe nanoribbons by introduction of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) via Au contacts is studied. Scanning confocal microscopy is employed to investigate the emission enhancement behavior via photoluminescence measurements. Large enhancement factors of 77-130 at a peak emission of CdSe of ?710 nm are obtained, which are ascribed to the gain-assisted propagation of the short-range mode of SPPs. Our findings open the exciting possibilities for high-efficiency SPP-enhanced light-emitting devices based on luminous bodies with finite lateral dimensions.
In this paper, we report a fabrication, characterization and stability study of p-GaN/n-ZnO nanorod heterojunction light-emitting devices (LEDs). The LEDs were assembled from arrays of n-ZnO vertical nanorods epitaxially grown on p-GaN. LEDs showed bright electroluminescence in blue (440 nm), although weaker violet (372 nm) and green-yellow (550 nm) spectral components were also observed. The device characteristics are generally stable and reproducible. The LEDs have a low turn-on voltage (?5 V). The electroluminescence (EL) is intense enough to be noticed by the naked eye, at an injection current as low as ? 40 µA (2.1 × 10(-2) A cm(-2) at 7 V bias). Analysis of the materials, electrical and EL investigations point to the role of a high quality of p-n nano-heterojunction which facilitates a large rectification ratio (320) and a stable reverse current of 2.8 µA (1.4 × 10(-3) A cm(-2) at 5 V). Stability of EL characteristics was investigated in detail. EL intensity showed systematic degradation over a short duration when the LED was bias-stressed at 30 V. At smaller bias (<20 V) LEDs tend to show a stable and repeatable EL characteristic. Thus a simple low temperature solution growth method was successfully exploited to realize nanorod/film heterojunction LED devices with predictable characteristics.
Vertically aligned single crystalline ZnO nanorod arrays, approximately 3 ?m in length and 50-450 nm in diameter are grown by a simple solution approach on a Zn foil substrate. CdS and CdSe colloidal quantum dots are assembled onto ZnO nanorods array using water-soluble nanocrystals capped as-synthesized with a short-chain bifuncional linker thioglycolic acid. The solar cells co-sensitized with both CdS and CdSe quantum dots demonstrate superior efficiency compared with the cells using only one type of quantum dots. A thin Al2O3 layer deposited prior to quantum dot anchoring successfully acts as a barrier inhibiting electron recombination at the Zn/ZnO/electrolyte interface, resulting in power conversion efficiency of approximately 1% with an improved fill factor of 0.55. The in situ growth of ZnO nanorod arrays in a solution containing CdSe quantum dots provides better contact between two materials resulting in enhanced open circuit voltage.
Highly ordered arrays of Cu-rich and -deficient CuInSe(2) nanotubes as well as ZnO/CuInSe(2) core/sheath nanocables have been synthesized on glass substrates by using ZnO nanorod arrays as sacrificial templates via a low-cost solution method. Chemical conversions from hexagonal ZnO to cubic ZnSe, hexagonal CuSe and tetragonal CuInSe(2) are demonstrated as a novel means for synthesis of I-III-VI nanomaterials. Large differences in their solubility product constant (K(sp)) are crucial for direct exchange in the conversions. In solvothermal reaction of ZnO/CuSe core/shell nanocables with InCl(3), the triethylene glycol solvent serves as a reducing agent for the reduction of cupric (Cu(2+)) to cuprous (Cu(+)) ions and also as an agent for the dissolution of ZnO cores. The absorption coefficient of the CuInSe(2) nanotubes in the visible region is on the order of 10(4) cm(-1). Photoelectrochemical solar cells were fabricated with arrays of ZnO/Cu(1.57±0.10)In(0.68±0.10)Se(2) and ZnO/CuSe nanocables. It was found that power conversion efficiency of the ZnO/Cu(1.57±0.10)In(0.68±0.10)Se(2) cell is about two times higher than that based on ZnO/CuSe.
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