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Polymers 2017, 9(2), 35; doi:10.3390/polym9020035

Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells Based on Blends of Conjugated Polymers with II–VI and IV–VI Inorganic Semiconductor Quantum Dots

1
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta, 9211-116 St., Edmonton, AB T6G 1H9, Canada
2
National Research Council Canada National Institute for Nanotechnology, 11421 Saskatchewan Drive NW, Edmonton, AB T6G 2M9, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Walter Remo Caseri
Received: 15 October 2016 / Revised: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2017 / Published: 26 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites of Polymers and Inorganic Particles 2016)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [9724 KB, uploaded 26 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

Bulk heterojunction solar cells based on blends of quantum dots and conjugated polymers are a promising configuration for obtaining high-efficiency, cheaply fabricated solution-processed photovoltaic devices. Such devices are of significant interest as they have the potential to leverage the advantages of both types of materials, such as the high mobility, band gap tunability and possibility of multiple exciton generation in quantum dots together with the high mechanical flexibility and large molar extinction coefficient of conjugated polymers. Despite these advantages, the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of these hybrid devices has remained relatively low at around 6%, well behind that of all-organic or all-inorganic solar cells. This is attributed to major challenges that still need to be overcome before conjugated polymer–quantum dot blends can be considered viable for commercial application, such as controlling the film morphology and interfacial structure to ensure efficient charge transfer and charge transport. In this work, we present our findings with respect to the recent development of bulk heterojunctions made from conjugated polymer–quantum dot blends, list the ongoing strategies being attempted to improve performance, and highlight the key areas of research that need to be pursued to further develop this technology. View Full-Text
Keywords: anisotropic nanocrystals; hybrid photovoltaics; interface engineering; nanotechnology; materials processing; tailored nanocomposites; bicontinuous percolation networks; blend characterization anisotropic nanocrystals; hybrid photovoltaics; interface engineering; nanotechnology; materials processing; tailored nanocomposites; bicontinuous percolation networks; blend characterization
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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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Kisslinger, R.; Hua, W.; Shankar, K. Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells Based on Blends of Conjugated Polymers with II–VI and IV–VI Inorganic Semiconductor Quantum Dots. Polymers 2017, 9, 35.

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