Title page for ETD etd-08122011-143423

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Kaur, Manpreet
URN etd-08122011-143423
Title Dual Spin-Cast Thermally Interdiffused Polymeric Photovoltaic Devices
Degree PhD
Department Physics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Heflin, James R. Committee Chair
Davis, Richey M. Committee Member
Dorn, Harry C. Committee Member
Heremans, Jean J. Committee Member
  • Conjugated Polymers
  • Interdiffusion
  • Concentration Gradient
  • Organic Photovoltaics
Date of Defense 2011-08-04
Availability unrestricted
An in depth study of the performance of thermally interdiffused concentration gradient polymer photovoltaic devices is carried out with particular attention to the effect of the thickness and the thermal treatments on the power conversion efficiency, short circuit current, open circuit voltage and other key electrical properties. Bilayer films of sequentially spin-cast donor and acceptor materials are exposed to various heat treatments in order to induce the interdiffusion. The depth profiles show concentration gradients in the donor and acceptor as a result of interdiffusion and these devices show an order of magnitude increase in the device performance compared to the bilayer devices. Dual spin-cast poly (3-octylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3OT)- [6,6] phenyl C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) and poly (3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT)- PCBM interdiffused devices are studied in detail by varying the thickness of the donor and acceptor layers as well as the annealing conditions for initial polymer layer and the time and temperature of the interdiffusion process.

Auger spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy along with ion beam milling are used to investigate the concentration gradient formed as a result of the interdiffusion. The sulfur signal present in the P3OT and P3HT backbone is detected to identify the concentration profiles in the P3OT-PCBM and P3HT-PCBM devices. The interdiffusion conditions and thickness of the active layers have been optimized to obtain the highest power conversion efficiency. The best device performance of the P3OT-PCBM interdiffused devices is achieved when the interdiffusion is carried out at 150 °C for 20 minutes and the P3OT thickness is maintained at 70 nm and the PCBM thickness at 40-50 nm. The highest efficiency achieved for P3OT-PCBM interdiffused devices is 1.0 % under AM1.5G solar simulated spectrum.

In order to further increase the efficiency, P3OT is replaced by (P3HT) which has higher hole mobility. P3HT- PCBM based concentration gradient devices show improved device performance over P3OT-PCBM devices. Power conversion efficiency of the order of ~3.0 % is obtained for P3HT-PCBM interdiffused devices when the interdiffusion is carried out at 150°C for 20 minutes. For both P3OT:PCBM and P3HT:PCBM devices, the optimum performance occurs when the concentration gradient extends across the entire film and is correlated with an increase in the short circuit current density and fill factor as well as a decrease in the series resistance. The results demonstrate that an interdiffused bilayer fabrication approach is a novel and efficient approach for fabrication of polymer solar cell devices.

In addition, porphyrin derivative 5, 10, 15, 20-Tetraphenyl-21H, 23H-porphine zinc (ZnTPP) is studied as a new donor material for organic solar cells. ZnTPP: PCBM blend devices are investigated in detail by varying the weight ratio of the donor and acceptor materials in blend devices. The devices with ZnTPP: PCBM in 1:9 ratios showed the best device performance and the efficiency of the order of 0.2% is achieved under AM1.5G solar simulated conditions.

Trimetallic Nitride Tempelated (TNT) endohedral fullerenes are also examined in this thesis as the novel acceptor materials. Bulk heterojunction or blend devices are fabricated with P3HT as the donor material and several TNT endohedral fullerenes as the acceptor material. Y3N@C80PCBH based devices which are annealed both before and after the electrode deposition show improvement in the device performance compared to devices that are only annealed before the electrode deposition. The highest power conversion efficiency achieved for TNT endohedral fullerene devices is only 0.06%, suggesting that substantial additional work must be done to optimize the compatibility of the donor and acceptor as well as the device fabrication parameters.

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