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Polymers 2019, 11(3), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11030460

Polymer/Fullerene Blend Solar Cells with Cadmium Sulfide Thin Film as an Alternative Hole-Blocking Layer

1
Department of Physics, University of Jaffna, Jaffna 40000, Sri Lanka
2
Department of Physical Science, Trincomalee campus, Eastern University, Trincomalee 31010, Sri Lanka
3
Faculty of Engineering and Science, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 7030, 5020 Bergen, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 20 January 2019 / Accepted: 25 January 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Energy Applications)
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Abstract

In this work, chemical bath-deposited cadmium sulfide (CdS) thin films were employed as an alternative hole-blocking layer for inverted poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) bulk heterojunction solar cells. CdS films were deposited by chemical bath deposition and their thicknesses were successfully controlled by tailoring the deposition time. The influence of the CdS layer thickness on the performance of P3HT:PCBM solar cells was systematically studied. The short circuit current densities and power conversion efficiencies of P3HT:PCBM solar cells strongly increased until the thickness of the CdS layer was increased to ~70 nm. This was attributed to the suppression of the interfacial charge recombination by the CdS layer, which is consistent with the lower dark current found with the increased CdS layer thickness. A further increase of the CdS layer thickness resulted in a lower short circuit current density due to strong absorption of the CdS layer as evidenced by UV-Vis optical studies. Both the fill factor and open circuit voltage of the solar cells with a CdS layer thickness less than ~50 nm were comparatively lower, and this could be attributed to the effect of pin holes in the CdS film, which reduces the series resistance and increases the charge recombination. Under AM 1.5 illumination (100 mW/cm2) conditions, the optimized PCBM:P3HT solar cells with a chemical bath deposited a CdS layer of thickness 70 nm and showed 50% power conversion efficiency enhancement, in comparison with similar solar cells with optimized dense TiO2 of 50 nm thickness prepared by spray pyrolysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: CdS; P3HT; PCBM; bulk heterojunction; polymer blend solar cells; hole-blocking layer; chemical bath deposition CdS; P3HT; PCBM; bulk heterojunction; polymer blend solar cells; hole-blocking layer; chemical bath deposition
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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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Thanihaichelvan, M.; Loheeswaran, S.; Balashangar, K.; Velauthapillai, D.; Ravirajan, P. Polymer/Fullerene Blend Solar Cells with Cadmium Sulfide Thin Film as an Alternative Hole-Blocking Layer. Polymers 2019, 11, 460.

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