Effect of Small-molecule Sensitizer on the Performance of Polymer Solar Cell

Yasser A. M. Ismail, Tetsuo Soga, Takashi Jimbo

Abstract


For improving optical absorption of organic solar cells, a small-molecule sensitizer, as a third material, is usually incorporated into binary solar cell system. In many cases, light harvesting can be improved but on the expense of charge carrier mobility of the solar cells. This obstacle can be addressed through the understanding solar cell physics. In the present work, we try to deeply understand the physics of the long-chain polymer solar cell composed of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT), as a donor polymer, and [6,6]-phenyl-C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM), as an acceptor molecule. This understanding can be acquired through the effect of coumarin 6 dye (C6), as a small-molecule sensitizer, on optical absorption and photocurrent of the most common solar cell. From optical spectroscopy we found that, the C6 dye, as a small molecule, did not vary conjugation length of the long-chain polymer in the P3HT: PCBM: C6 solar cell. This was indicated from (1) unchanged vibronic structure of the P3HT after adding C6 dye and from (2) matching in the wavelength between absorption peaks of both pristine C6 and P3HT after adding C6 dye into blend. From photocurrent spectroscopy we found that, the incorporation of C6 dye, as a sensitizer, into P3HT: PCBM binary contributed to photocurrent and formed an additional charge carrier generation site through the C6: PCBM combination, which was individually found among with P3HT:PCBM combination in the same solar cell. In the same time, the C6 dye, as a shortchain molecule, restricted the transport of charge carriers generated by P3HT as a result of low hole mobility of the C6 short-chain molecules. Through the present study, the incorporation of a small-molecule sensitizer into polymer solar cell may acquire better understanding for the performance of the most common P3HT: PCBM solar cell.


Keywords: Polymer Solar Cells; Device Physics; P3HT: PCBM Solar Cell.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.0001/(aj).v3i0.711

DOI (PDF): http://dx.doi.org/10.0001/(aj).v3i0.711.g865

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