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Materials 2015, 8(5), 2415-2432; doi:10.3390/ma8052415

Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cell with Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Nanotubes in the Active Layer: Effect of Nanocomposite Synthesis Technique on Photovoltaic Properties

1
School of Chemistry and Physics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa
2
Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 17011, Doornfontein, Johannesburg 2028, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Klara Hernadi
Received: 2 March 2015 / Revised: 9 April 2015 / Accepted: 10 April 2015 / Published: 8 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Advanced Composites)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3118 KB, uploaded 8 May 2015]   |  

Abstract

Nanocomposites of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes (N-CNTs) have been synthesized by two methods; specifically, direct solution mixing and in situ polymerization. The nanocomposites were characterized by means of transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray dispersive spectroscopy, UV-Vis spectrophotometry, photoluminescence spectrophotometry (PL), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and dispersive surface energy analysis. The nanocomposites were used in the active layer of a bulk heterojunction organic solar cell with the composition ITO/PEDOT:PSS/P3HT:N-CNTS:PCBM/LiF/Al. TEM and SEM analysis showed that the polymer successfully wrapped the N-CNTs. FTIR results indicated good π-π interaction within the nanocomposite synthesized by in situ polymerization as opposed to samples made by direct solution mixing. Dispersive surface energies of the N-CNTs and nanocomposites supported the fact that polymer covered the N-CNTs well. J-V analysis show that good devices were formed from the two nanocomposites, however, the in situ polymerization nanocomposite showed better photovoltaic characteristics. View Full-Text
Keywords: polythiophene; nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes; nanocomposites; photovoltaic properties polythiophene; nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes; nanocomposites; photovoltaic properties
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Keru, G.; Ndungu, P.G.; Mola, G.T.; Nyamori, V.O. Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cell with Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Nanotubes in the Active Layer: Effect of Nanocomposite Synthesis Technique on Photovoltaic Properties. Materials 2015, 8, 2415-2432.

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