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Studies about photogeneration, interface effects, and charge carrier transport in organic solar cells

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Author(s):
Douglas José Coutinho
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Carlos.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Física de São Carlos
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Roberto Mendonça Faria; José Arruda de Oliveira Freire; Ivo Alexandre Hummelgen; Ana Flavia Nogueira; Iouri Poussep
Advisor: Roberto Mendonça Faria
Abstract

This thesis aims to investigate electrical characteristics of an ITO/PEDOT:PSS/P3HT:PCBM/Ca/Al device, which is a well-known structure of a bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) organic solar cell, and to contribute to improve its performance. However, the first step was to introduce in the Group of Polymer Bernhard Gross an effective method for producing BHJ solar cells, manufacturing thus devices exhibiting excellent performance and reproducibility. This thesis aims to investigate electrical characteristics of an ITO/PEDOT:PSS/P3HT:PCBM/Ca/Al device, which is a well-known structure of a bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) organic solar cell, and to contribute to improve its performance. However, the first step was to introduce in the Group of Polymer Bernhard Gross an effective method for producing BHJ solar cells, manufacturing thus devices exhibiting excellent performance and reproducibility. This goal was successfully achieved. The good efficiency (η) of a multilayer photovoltaic cell depends on many factors, including good overlap between the solar spectrum and the light absorbing layer, an excellent conversion of the absorbed light energy in pairs of electronic carriers, efficient charge transport and the minimum losses by recombination or by the action of deep traps for the carriers. Furthermore, the compatibility between electronic interfaces plays a crucial role in defining the open-circuit voltage (VOC) and the value of short-circuit current (JSC), and on the fill factor (FF). Anchored on these effects, we carried out a series of experiments, aided by a theoretical modeling, which provided a detailed study of the temperature evolution of fundamental electric quantities such as carrier mobility (μ) and its lifetime (τ). These studies were performed with the help of different experiments: photocurrent in function of the applied voltage  Jph(V), Photo-CELIV technique, and Transient Photovoltage (TPV) measurements, which were carried out at several temperatures in the 100 to 340 K range. In parallel, we developed an analytical model for Jph(V) that assumed non-injecting contacts and equal mean-free-paths for electrons and holes. The theoretical/experimental entities used as fitting parameters were the charge-transfer-state dissociation probability (P) and the μτ product. The condition in which the mean-free-path (w = μτF) is higher the sample thickness (L), the model reproduces the experimental reverse saturation current, Jsat = qGPL, which is coincident with the experimental value. F is the internal electric field and G is the generation rate of excitons by the absorbed light. When w << L, J(F) = qGPμτF, which is also coincident with experimental behavior. The confrontation between the experimental results and the theoretical model provided, in addition to the study of the evolution of μ and τ with temperature, to establish a more effective relationship between the parameters (η, JSC, e FF) of the cell and the electrical properties of the P3HT:PCBM active layer. Thermomechanical analysis (DMA) provided additional information of structural changes of active layer, which can be correlated with change in the loss factor and in the cell parameters. Finally, Time-of-Flight (TOF) and CELIV techniques were used in the more accurate study of charge transport along the active layers, effects of injection by the electrodes, and the degradation effect caused by oxygen. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 11/17143-3 - Hybrid photovoltaic cells: architectures based on photonic and plasmonic effects
Grantee:Douglas José Coutinho
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate