Special Issue "Nanostructured Solar Cells"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2016)

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Guanying Chen

1 School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
2 Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics,University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260-3000, USA
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Interests: biophotonics; nanomaterials; nanostructured solar cells; nanomedcine
Guest Editor
Dr. Zhijun Ning

School of Physical Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai 200031, China
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Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Hans Agren

Division of Theoretical Chemistry and Biology, School of Biology, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-10609 Stocholm, Sweden
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Interests: theorectial chemistry; quantum-classical modelling; light-matter interaction; spectroscopy; nanobiotechnology; plasmonic and upconverting nanoparticles

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Solar cells are generally regarded as a promising renewable energy source. Though significant progress has been made in recent decades, a complete replacement of traditional energy sources by solar cells still requires improvement in device performance. Recently, the emerging use of nanostructures by newly developed nanotechnology provides opportunities to significantly enhance the efficiency by plasmonic enhancement, reflection enhancement, light scattering, and enhanced carriers collection efficiency, among other attributes. On the other hand, numerous kinds of solar cells, such as perovskite solar cells, colloidal quantum dot solar cells, organic heterojunction solar cells, dye sensitized solar cells have been developed. The combination of solution processed solar cells and nanostructures, leads to a much improved performance of devices. One reason for this is that nanostructures enable significantly enhanced light harvesting in the near infrared or infrared region, where most active materials have poor light absorption capacity. Additionally, the use of nanostructures can lead to enhanced carriers collection efficiency and photocurrent generation.

This Special Issue will present comprehensive research outlining progress on the application of nanostructures to improve the performance of solar cells. This includes the utilization of plasmonic, light reflection or light scattering enhancement to improve light absorption and the construction of new kinds of device structures to improve carriers’ collection. We invite authors to contribute original research articles and review articles covering the current progress on nanostructured solar cells. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

1. Colloidal quantum dot solar cells based on nanostructured devices.

2. Dyes or colloidal quantum dot sensitized solar cells based on nanostructured electrodes.

3. Perovskite solar cells based on nanostructures.

4. Organic polymer heterojunction solar cells by plasmonic enhancement.

5. Small molecular heterojunction solar cells with nanostructures.

6. Thin film solar cells including amorphous silicon, copper indium gallium selenide solar cells (CuInGaSe), cadmium telluride solar cells based on nanostructures.

7. Nanostructured crystalline silicon solar cells.

Prof. Dr. Guanying Chen
Dr. Zhijun Ning
Prof. Dr. Hans Agren
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Photovolatics
  • solar cells
  • nanomaterials
  • nanostructures
  • light harvesting
  • light management
  • plasmonic
  • interface engineering
  • carrier multiplication

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial Nanostructured Solar Cells
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(8), 145; doi:10.3390/nano6080145
Received: 3 August 2016 / Accepted: 3 August 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (148 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We are glad to announce the Special Issue “Nanostructured Solar Cells”, published in Nanomaterials. This issue consists of eight articles, two communications, and one review paper, covering major important aspects of nanostructured solar cells of varying types. From fundamental physicochemical investigations to technological
[...] Read more.
We are glad to announce the Special Issue “Nanostructured Solar Cells”, published in Nanomaterials. This issue consists of eight articles, two communications, and one review paper, covering major important aspects of nanostructured solar cells of varying types. From fundamental physicochemical investigations to technological advances, and from single junction solar cells (silicon solar cell, dye sensitized solar cell, quantum dots sensitized solar cell, and small molecule organic solar cell) to tandem multi-junction solar cells, all aspects are included and discussed in this issue to advance the use of nanotechnology to improve the performance of solar cells with reduced fabrication costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Solar Cells) Printed Edition available

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Nano-Photonic Structures for Light Trapping in Ultra-Thin Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(1), 17; doi:10.3390/nano7010017
Received: 2 August 2016 / Revised: 16 December 2016 / Accepted: 30 December 2016 / Published: 13 January 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3966 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Thick wafer-silicon is the dominant solar cell technology. It is of great interest to develop ultra-thin solar cells that can reduce materials usage, but still achieve acceptable performance and high solar absorption. Accordingly, we developed a highly absorbing ultra-thin crystalline Si based solar
[...] Read more.
Thick wafer-silicon is the dominant solar cell technology. It is of great interest to develop ultra-thin solar cells that can reduce materials usage, but still achieve acceptable performance and high solar absorption. Accordingly, we developed a highly absorbing ultra-thin crystalline Si based solar cell architecture using periodically patterned front and rear dielectric nanocone arrays which provide enhanced light trapping. The rear nanocones are embedded in a silver back reflector. In contrast to previous approaches, we utilize dielectric photonic crystals with a completely flat silicon absorber layer, providing expected high electronic quality and low carrier recombination. This architecture creates a dense mesh of wave-guided modes at near-infrared wavelengths in the absorber layer, generating enhanced absorption. For thin silicon (<2 μm) and 750 nm pitch arrays, scattering matrix simulations predict enhancements exceeding 90%. Absorption approaches the Lambertian limit at small thicknesses (<10 μm) and is slightly lower (by ~5%) at wafer-scale thicknesses. Parasitic losses are ~25% for ultra-thin (2 μm) silicon and just 1%–2% for thicker (>100 μm) cells. There is potential for 20 μm thick cells to provide 30 mA/cm2 photo-current and >20% efficiency. This architecture has great promise for ultra-thin silicon solar panels with reduced material utilization and enhanced light-trapping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Solar Cells) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessCommunication Ag Nanoparticle–Functionalized Open-Ended Freestanding TiO2 Nanotube Arrays with a Scattering Layer for Improved Energy Conversion Efficiency in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(6), 117; doi:10.3390/nano6060117
Received: 30 March 2016 / Revised: 1 June 2016 / Accepted: 6 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2202 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) were fabricated using open-ended freestanding TiO2 nanotube arrays functionalized with Ag nanoparticles (NPs) in the channel to create a plasmonic effect, and then coated with large TiO2 NPs to create a scattering effect in order to improve
[...] Read more.
Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) were fabricated using open-ended freestanding TiO2 nanotube arrays functionalized with Ag nanoparticles (NPs) in the channel to create a plasmonic effect, and then coated with large TiO2 NPs to create a scattering effect in order to improve energy conversion efficiency. Compared to closed-ended freestanding TiO2 nanotube array–based DSSCs without Ag or large TiO2 NPs, the energy conversion efficiency of closed-ended DSSCs improved by 9.21% (actual efficiency, from 5.86% to 6.40%) with Ag NPs, 6.48% (actual efficiency, from 5.86% to 6.24%) with TiO2 NPs, and 14.50% (actual efficiency, from 5.86% to 6.71%) with both Ag NPs and TiO2 NPs. By introducing Ag NPs and/or large TiO2 NPs to open-ended freestanding TiO2 nanotube array–based DSSCs, the energy conversion efficiency was improved by 9.15% (actual efficiency, from 6.12% to 6.68%) with Ag NPs and 8.17% (actual efficiency, from 6.12% to 6.62%) with TiO2 NPs, and by 15.20% (actual efficiency, from 6.12% to 7.05%) with both Ag NPs and TiO2 NPs. Moreover, compared to closed-ended freestanding TiO2 nanotube arrays, the energy conversion efficiency of open-ended freestanding TiO2 nanotube arrays increased from 6.71% to 7.05%. We demonstrate that each component—Ag NPs, TiO2 NPs, and open-ended freestanding TiO2 nanotube arrays—enhanced the energy conversion efficiency, and the use of a combination of all components in DSSCs resulted in the highest energy conversion efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Solar Cells) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Correlation between CdSe QD Synthesis, Post-Synthetic Treatment, and BHJ Hybrid Solar Cell Performance
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(6), 115; doi:10.3390/nano6060115
Received: 20 April 2016 / Revised: 1 June 2016 / Accepted: 6 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3935 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this publication we show that the procedure to synthesize nanocrystals and the post-synthetic nanocrystal ligand sphere treatment have a great influence not only on the immediate performance of hybrid bulk heterojunction solar cells, but also on their thermal, long-term, and air stability.
[...] Read more.
In this publication we show that the procedure to synthesize nanocrystals and the post-synthetic nanocrystal ligand sphere treatment have a great influence not only on the immediate performance of hybrid bulk heterojunction solar cells, but also on their thermal, long-term, and air stability. We herein demonstrate this for the particular case of spherical CdSe nanocrystals, post-synthetically treated with a hexanoic acid based treatment. We observe an influence from the duration of this post-synthetic treatment on the nanocrystal ligand sphere size, and also on the solar cell performance. By tuning the post-synthetic treatment to a certain degree, optimal device performance can be achieved. Moreover, we show how to effectively adapt the post-synthetic nanocrystal treatment protocol to different nanocrystal synthesis batches, hence increasing the reproducibility of hybrid nanocrystal:polymer bulk-heterojunction solar cells, which usually suffers due to the fluctuations in nanocrystal quality of different synthesis batches and synthesis procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Solar Cells) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Enhancing the Photocurrent of Top-Cell by Ellipsoidal Silver Nanoparticles: Towards Current-Matched GaInP/GaInAs/Ge Triple-Junction Solar Cells
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(6), 98; doi:10.3390/nano6060098
Received: 6 April 2016 / Revised: 11 May 2016 / Accepted: 16 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2535 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A way to increase the photocurrent of top-cell is crucial for current-matched and highly-efficient GaInP/GaInAs/Ge triple-junction solar cells. Herein, we demonstrate that ellipsoidal silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) with better extinction performance and lower fabrication temperature can enhance the light harvest of GaInP/GaInAs/Ge solar
[...] Read more.
A way to increase the photocurrent of top-cell is crucial for current-matched and highly-efficient GaInP/GaInAs/Ge triple-junction solar cells. Herein, we demonstrate that ellipsoidal silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) with better extinction performance and lower fabrication temperature can enhance the light harvest of GaInP/GaInAs/Ge solar cells compared with that of spherical Ag NPs. In this method, appropriate thermal treatment parameters for Ag NPs without inducing the dopant diffusion of the tunnel-junction plays a decisive role. Our experimental and theoretical results confirm the ellipsoidal Ag NPs annealed at 350 °C show a better extinction performance than the spherical Ag NPs annealed at 400 °C. The photovoltaic conversion efficiency of the device with ellipsoidal Ag NPs reaches 31.02%, with a nearly 5% relative improvement in comparison with the device without Ag NPs (29.54%). This function of plasmonic NPs has the potential to solve the conflict of sufficient light absorption and efficient carrier collection in GaInP top-cell devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Solar Cells) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Improving the Photocurrent in Quantum-Dot-Sensitized Solar Cells by Employing Alloy PbxCd1−xS Quantum Dots as Photosensitizers
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(6), 97; doi:10.3390/nano6060097
Received: 6 April 2016 / Revised: 16 May 2016 / Accepted: 20 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3335 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Ternary alloy PbxCd1−xS quantum dots (QDs) were explored as photosensitizers for quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSCs). Alloy PbxCd1−xS QDs (Pb0.54Cd0.46S, Pb0.31Cd0.69S, and Pb0.24Cd0.76
[...] Read more.
Ternary alloy PbxCd1−xS quantum dots (QDs) were explored as photosensitizers for quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSCs). Alloy PbxCd1−xS QDs (Pb0.54Cd0.46S, Pb0.31Cd0.69S, and Pb0.24Cd0.76S) were found to substantially improve the photocurrent of the solar cells compared to the single CdS or PbS QDs. Moreover, it was found that the photocurrent increases and the photovoltage decreases when the ratio of Pb in PbxCd1−xS is increased. Without surface protecting layer deposition, the highest short-circuit current density reaches 20 mA/cm2 under simulated AM 1.5 illumination (100 mW/cm2). After an additional CdS coating layer was deposited onto the PbxCd1−xS electrode, the photovoltaic performance further improved, with a photocurrent of 22.6 mA/cm2 and an efficiency of 3.2%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Solar Cells) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Ultraviolet Plasmonic Aluminium Nanoparticles for Highly Efficient Light Incoupling on Silicon Solar Cells
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(6), 95; doi:10.3390/nano6060095
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 1 May 2016 / Accepted: 18 May 2016 / Published: 24 May 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4151 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Plasmonic metal nanoparticles supporting localized surface plasmon resonances have attracted a great deal of interest in boosting the light absorption in solar cells. Among the various plasmonic materials, the aluminium nanoparticles recently have become a rising star due to their unique ultraviolet plasmonic
[...] Read more.
Plasmonic metal nanoparticles supporting localized surface plasmon resonances have attracted a great deal of interest in boosting the light absorption in solar cells. Among the various plasmonic materials, the aluminium nanoparticles recently have become a rising star due to their unique ultraviolet plasmonic resonances, low cost, earth-abundance and high compatibility with the complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) manufacturing process. Here, we report some key factors that determine the light incoupling of aluminium nanoparticles located on the front side of silicon solar cells. We first numerically study the scattering and absorption properties of the aluminium nanoparticles and the influence of the nanoparticle shape, size, surface coverage and the spacing layer on the light incoupling using the finite difference time domain method. Then, we experimentally integrate 100-nm aluminium nanoparticles on the front side of silicon solar cells with varying silicon nitride thicknesses. This study provides the fundamental insights for designing aluminium nanoparticle-based light trapping on solar cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Solar Cells) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle The Influence of Fluorination on Nano-Scale Phase Separation and Photovoltaic Performance of Small Molecular/PC71BM Blends
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(4), 80; doi:10.3390/nano6040080
Received: 5 February 2016 / Revised: 31 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 21 April 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4375 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
To investigate the fluorination influence on the photovoltaic performance of small molecular based organic solar cells (OSCs), six small molecules based on 2,1,3-benzothiadiazole (BT), and diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP) as core and fluorinated phenyl (DFP) and triphenyl amine (TPA) as different terminal units (DFP-BT-DFP, DFP-BT-TPA,
[...] Read more.
To investigate the fluorination influence on the photovoltaic performance of small molecular based organic solar cells (OSCs), six small molecules based on 2,1,3-benzothiadiazole (BT), and diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP) as core and fluorinated phenyl (DFP) and triphenyl amine (TPA) as different terminal units (DFP-BT-DFP, DFP-BT-TPA, TPA-BT-TPA, DFP-DPP-DFP, DFP-DPP-TPA, and TPA-DPP-TPA) were synthesized. With one or two fluorinated phenyl as the end group(s), HOMO level of BT and DPP based small molecular donors were gradually decreased, inducing high open circuit voltage for fluorinated phenyl based OSCs. DFP-BT-TPA and DFP-DPP-TPA based blend films both displayed stronger nano-scale aggregation in comparison to TPA-BT-TPA and TPA-DPP-TPA, respectively, which would also lead to higher hole motilities in devices. Ultimately, improved power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 2.17% and 1.22% was acquired for DFP-BT-TPA and DFP-DPP-TPA based devices, respectively. These results demonstrated that the nano-scale aggregation size of small molecules in photovoltaic devices could be significantly enhanced by introducing a fluorine atom at the donor unit of small molecules, which will provide understanding about the relationship of chemical structure and nano-scale phase separation in OSCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Solar Cells) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessCommunication Morphology-Controlled High-Efficiency Small Molecule Organic Solar Cells without Additive Solvent Treatment
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(4), 64; doi:10.3390/nano6040064
Received: 23 February 2016 / Revised: 23 March 2016 / Accepted: 29 March 2016 / Published: 8 April 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2523 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper focuses on nano-morphology-controlled small-molecule organic solar cells without solvent treatment for high power-conversion efficiencies (PCEs). The maximum high PCE reaches up to 7.22% with a bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) thickness of 320 nm. This high efficiency was obtained by eliminating solvent additives such
[...] Read more.
This paper focuses on nano-morphology-controlled small-molecule organic solar cells without solvent treatment for high power-conversion efficiencies (PCEs). The maximum high PCE reaches up to 7.22% with a bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) thickness of 320 nm. This high efficiency was obtained by eliminating solvent additives such as 1,8-diiodooctane (DIO) to find an alternative way to control the domain sizes in the BHJ layer. Furthermore, the generalized transfer matrix method (GTMM) analysis has been applied to confirm the effects of applying a different thickness of BHJs for organic solar cells from 100 to 320 nm, respectively. Finally, the study showed an alternative way to achieve high PCE organic solar cells without additive solvent treatments to control the morphology of the bulk-heterojunction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Solar Cells) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Numerical Study of Complementary Nanostructures for Light Trapping in Colloidal Quantum Dot Solar Cells
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(4), 55; doi:10.3390/nano6040055
Received: 15 February 2016 / Revised: 18 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2042 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We have investigated two complementary nanostructures, nanocavity and nanopillar arrays, for light absorption enhancement in depleted heterojunction colloidal quantum dot (CQD) solar cells. A facile complementary fabrication process is demonstrated for patterning these nanostructures over the large area required for light trapping in
[...] Read more.
We have investigated two complementary nanostructures, nanocavity and nanopillar arrays, for light absorption enhancement in depleted heterojunction colloidal quantum dot (CQD) solar cells. A facile complementary fabrication process is demonstrated for patterning these nanostructures over the large area required for light trapping in photovoltaic devices. The simulation results show that both proposed periodic nanostructures can effectively increase the light absorption in CQD layer of the solar cell throughout the near-infrared region where CQD solar cells typically exhibit weak light absorption. The complementary fabrication process for implementation of these nanostructures can pave the way for large-area, inexpensive light trapping implementation in nanostructured solar cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Solar Cells) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Investigating the Effect of Carbon Nanotube Diameter and Wall Number in Carbon Nanotube/Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(3), 52; doi:10.3390/nano6030052
Received: 14 February 2016 / Revised: 3 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2610 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Suspensions of single-walled, double-walled and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were generated in the same solvent at similar concentrations. Films were fabricated from these suspensions and used in carbon nanotube/silicon heterojunction solar cells and their properties were compared with reference to the number of
[...] Read more.
Suspensions of single-walled, double-walled and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were generated in the same solvent at similar concentrations. Films were fabricated from these suspensions and used in carbon nanotube/silicon heterojunction solar cells and their properties were compared with reference to the number of walls in the nanotube samples. It was found that single-walled nanotubes generally produced more favorable results; however, the double and multi-walled nanotube films used in this study yielded cells with higher open circuit voltages. It was also determined that post fabrication treatments applied to the nanotube films have a lesser effect on multi-walled nanotubes than on the other two types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Solar Cells) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Influence of Nitrogen Doping on Device Operation for TiO2-Based Solid-State Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells: Photo-Physics from Materials to Devices
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(3), 35; doi:10.3390/nano6030035
Received: 19 December 2015 / Revised: 28 January 2016 / Accepted: 13 February 2016 / Published: 23 February 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2760 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells (ssDSSC) constitute a major approach to photovoltaic energy conversion with efficiencies over 8% reported thanks to the rational design of efficient porous metal oxide electrodes, organic chromophores, and hole transporters. Among the various strategies used to push the performance
[...] Read more.
Solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells (ssDSSC) constitute a major approach to photovoltaic energy conversion with efficiencies over 8% reported thanks to the rational design of efficient porous metal oxide electrodes, organic chromophores, and hole transporters. Among the various strategies used to push the performance ahead, doping of the nanocrystalline titanium dioxide (TiO2) electrode is regularly proposed to extend the photo-activity of the materials into the visible range. However, although various beneficial effects for device performance have been observed in the literature, they remain strongly dependent on the method used for the production of the metal oxide, and the influence of nitrogen atoms on charge kinetics remains unclear. To shed light on this open question, we synthesized a set of N-doped TiO2 nanopowders with various nitrogen contents, and exploited them for the fabrication of ssDSSC. Particularly, we carefully analyzed the localization of the dopants using X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy (XPS) and monitored their influence on the photo-induced charge kinetics probed both at the material and device levels. We demonstrate a strong correlation between the kinetics of photo-induced charge carriers probed both at the level of the nanopowders and at the level of working solar cells, illustrating a direct transposition of the photo-physic properties from materials to devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Solar Cells) Printed Edition available
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Review

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Open AccessReview Graphene and Carbon Quantum Dot-Based Materials in Photovoltaic Devices: From Synthesis to Applications
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(9), 157; doi:10.3390/nano6090157
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 13 July 2016 / Accepted: 10 August 2016 / Published: 25 August 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (3245 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Graphene and carbon quantum dots have extraordinary optical and electrical features because of their quantum confinement properties. This makes them attractive materials for applications in photovoltaic devices (PV). Their versatility has led to their being used as light harvesting materials or selective contacts,
[...] Read more.
Graphene and carbon quantum dots have extraordinary optical and electrical features because of their quantum confinement properties. This makes them attractive materials for applications in photovoltaic devices (PV). Their versatility has led to their being used as light harvesting materials or selective contacts, either for holes or electrons, in silicon quantum dot, polymer or dye-sensitized solar cells. In this review, we summarize the most common uses of both types of semiconducting materials and highlight the significant advances made in recent years due to the influence that synthetic materials have on final performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Solar Cells) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview Enhancing Solar Cell Efficiency Using Photon Upconversion Materials
Nanomaterials 2015, 5(4), 1782-1809; doi:10.3390/nano5041782
Received: 27 August 2015 / Revised: 10 October 2015 / Accepted: 10 October 2015 / Published: 27 October 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (3293 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Photovoltaic cells are able to convert sunlight into electricity, providing enough of the most abundant and cleanest energy to cover our energy needs. However, the efficiency of current photovoltaics is significantly impeded by the transmission loss of sub-band-gap photons. Photon upconversion is a
[...] Read more.
Photovoltaic cells are able to convert sunlight into electricity, providing enough of the most abundant and cleanest energy to cover our energy needs. However, the efficiency of current photovoltaics is significantly impeded by the transmission loss of sub-band-gap photons. Photon upconversion is a promising route to circumvent this problem by converting these transmitted sub-band-gap photons into above-band-gap light, where solar cells typically have high quantum efficiency. Here, we summarize recent progress on varying types of efficient upconversion materials as well as their outstanding uses in a series of solar cells, including silicon solar cells (crystalline and amorphous), gallium arsenide (GaAs) solar cells, dye-sensitized solar cells, and other types of solar cells. The challenge and prospect of upconversion materials for photovoltaic applications are also discussed Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Solar Cells) Printed Edition available
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