Special Issue "Solar Thin Film Nanomaterials and Nanodevices"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Solar Energy and Solar Cells".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2023 | Viewed by 2762

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Zhenhua Yu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Applied Physical Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Interests: perovskite optoelectronic materials and devices; dye-sensitized solar cells; nanoscale wide-bangap metal oxides

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Solar energy has great potential to provide clean and renewable energy to humans. In the past several decades, nanoscale research has played a vital role in the emergence of advanced solar energy techniques. For example, nano-mesoporous TiO2 leads to dye-sensitized solar cells, and nanostructured MAPbI3 thin film to perovskite solar cells. The synthesis, design, characterization, and fabrication of nanomaterials lead to the desired properties of both solar thin film absorbers and charge-collecting layers, which greatly boost the performance of solar devices. There are still challenges to overcome in new solar absorber materials, including achieving a deeper understanding of the carriers’ transfer mechanism, as well as facile and lost-cost fabrication, design of new devices, etc., which are expected attract enormous interest and create great economic value in the solar energy community.

This Special Issue of Nanomaterials will cover the most recent advances in “Solar Thin Film Nanomaterials and Nanodevices”, concerning the materials synthesis, fundamental physics, nanostructure design, fabrication, and characterization of solar nano-absorbers and related charge selection materials, as well as advanced analytical methods and techniques in photovoltaic nanodevices.

Dr. Zhenhua Yu
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Power conversion efficiency
  • Operation stability
  • Nanostructure semiconductors
  • Nanomaterial growth
  • Grain boundary physics
  • Charge collection materials
  • Carrrier tranfer dynamics
  • Interfacial electronics
  • Multi-junction Tandem solar cells

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Black Phosphorus/Carbon Nanoframes for Efficient Flexible All-Solid-State Supercapacitor
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(19), 3311; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12193311 - 23 Sep 2022
Viewed by 136
Abstract
A flexible all-solid-state supercapacitor with fast charging speed and high power density is a promising high-performance energy storage and sensor device in photovoltaic systems. Two-dimensional black phosphorus (BP) is a prospective electrode nanomaterial, but it struggles to fully exert its properties limited by [...] Read more.
A flexible all-solid-state supercapacitor with fast charging speed and high power density is a promising high-performance energy storage and sensor device in photovoltaic systems. Two-dimensional black phosphorus (BP) is a prospective electrode nanomaterial, but it struggles to fully exert its properties limited by its self-stacking. Herein, by embedding carbon nanoparticles into the interlayer of BP microplates, the designed BP/carbon nanoframe (BP/C NF) forms a certain nano-gap on the substrate for promoting the orderly transport of charges. The corresponding supercapacitor BP/C SC has a capacity of 372 F g−1, which is higher than that constructed from BP microplates (32.6 F g−1). Moreover, the BP/C SC exhibits good stability with a ca. 90% of capacitance retentions after 10,000 repeated bending and long-term cycles. Thus, the proposed strategy of using BP/carbon nanoframes is feasible to develop exceptional flexible energy devices, and it can guide the design of relevant two-dimensional nanocomposites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Thin Film Nanomaterials and Nanodevices)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Wavelength Selective Solar Cells Using Triple Cation Perovskite
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(19), 3299; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12193299 - 22 Sep 2022
Viewed by 170
Abstract
Perovskite materials offer high-efficiency low-cost solar cells and applications versatility. We report on cesium-based hybrid perovskite solar cells with wavelength-selective properties ranging from 500 nm (UV-VIS) to 800 nm (IR). The band gap tuning was achieved through composition changes of mainly lead(II) iodide [...] Read more.
Perovskite materials offer high-efficiency low-cost solar cells and applications versatility. We report on cesium-based hybrid perovskite solar cells with wavelength-selective properties ranging from 500 nm (UV-VIS) to 800 nm (IR). The band gap tuning was achieved through composition changes of mainly lead(II) iodide PbI2 and lead(II) bromide PbBr2. The optical spectra of the developed materials were studied, including the photoluminescence (PL), optical transparency, X-ray diffraction and external quantum efficiency for samples prepared under different compositions. It was found that a high content of iodine displayed a photoluminescence (PL) peak at 790 nm, whereas a high content of bromine showed a PL peak at 548 nm. The combined composition mixture of PbI2 and PbBr2 can be fine-tuned to prepare materials that absorbed light in the visible range (640–660 nm) or other selective wavelengths in the range from 500 to 800 nm. The illuminated current-voltage characteristics of the solar cells were carried out under the AM 1.5 condition using an ABET solar simulator with a reference solar cell for comparison and control. The average efficiency of the fabricated solar cells ranged from 3.5% to 15.5%, depending on perovskite composition. Wavelength-selective solar cells have potential applications in smart windows, building of integrated PVs and solar-operated greenhouses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Thin Film Nanomaterials and Nanodevices)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Lead-Free Copper-Based Perovskite Nanonets for Deep Ultraviolet Photodetectors with High Stability and Better Performance
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(19), 3264; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12193264 - 20 Sep 2022
Viewed by 182
Abstract
Considering practical application and commercialization, the research of non-toxic and stable halide perovskite and its application in the field of photoelectric detection have received great attention. However, there are relatively few studies on deep ultraviolet photodetectors, and the perovskite films prepared by traditional [...] Read more.
Considering practical application and commercialization, the research of non-toxic and stable halide perovskite and its application in the field of photoelectric detection have received great attention. However, there are relatively few studies on deep ultraviolet photodetectors, and the perovskite films prepared by traditional spin-coating method have disadvantages such as uneven grain size and irregular agglomeration, which limit their device performance. Herein, uniform and ordered Cs3Cu2I5 nanonet arrays are fabricated based on monolayer colloidal crystal (MCC) templates prepared with 1 μm polystyrene (PS) spheres, which enhance light-harvesting ability. Furthermore, the performance of the lateral photodetector (PD) is significantly enhanced when using Cs3Cu2I5 nanonet compared to the pure Cs3Cu2I5 film. Under deep ultraviolet light, the Cs3Cu2I5 nanonet PD exhibits a high light responsivity of 1.66 AW−1 and a high detection up to 2.48 × 1012 Jones. Meanwhile, the unencapsulated PD has almost no response to light above 330 nm and shows remarkable stability. The above results prove that Cs3Cu2I5 nanonet can be a great potential light-absorbing layer for solar-blind deep ultraviolet PD, which can be used as light absorption layer of UV solar cell. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Thin Film Nanomaterials and Nanodevices)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Communication
Efficient Nanocrystal Photovoltaics with PTAA as Hole Transport Layer
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(17), 3067; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12173067 - 03 Sep 2022
Viewed by 288
Abstract
The power conversion efficiency (PCE) of solution-processed CdTe nanocrystals (NCs) solar cells has been significantly promoted in recent years due to the optimization of device design by advanced interface engineering techniques. However, further development of CdTe NC solar cells is still limited by [...] Read more.
The power conversion efficiency (PCE) of solution-processed CdTe nanocrystals (NCs) solar cells has been significantly promoted in recent years due to the optimization of device design by advanced interface engineering techniques. However, further development of CdTe NC solar cells is still limited by the low open-circuit voltage (Voc) (mostly in range of 0.5–0.7 V), which is mainly attributed to the charge recombination at the CdTe/electrode interface. Herein, we demonstrate a high-efficiency CdTe NCs solar cell by using organic polymer poly[bis(4–phenyl)(2,4,6–trimethylphenyl)amine] (PTAA) as the hole transport layer (HTL) to decrease the interface recombination and enhance the Voc. The solar cell with the architecture of ITO/ZnO/CdS/CdSe/CdTe/PTAA/Au was fabricated via a layer-by-layer solution process. Experimental results show that PTAA offers better back contact for reducing interface resistance than the device without HTL. It is found that a dipole layer is produced between the CdTe NC thin film and the back contact electrode; thus the built–in electric field (Vbi) is reinforced, allowing more efficient carrier separation. By introducing the PTAA HTL in the device, the open–circuit voltage, short-circuit current density and the fill factor are simultaneously improved, leading to a high PCE of 6.95%, which is increased by 30% compared to that of the control device without HTL (5.3%). This work suggests that the widely used PTAA is preferred as the excellent HTL for achieving highly efficient CdTe NC solar cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Thin Film Nanomaterials and Nanodevices)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Insight into the Effect of Selenization Temperature for Highly Efficient Ni-Doped Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 Solar Cells
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(17), 2942; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12172942 - 26 Aug 2022
Viewed by 279
Abstract
Cu2Ni0·05Zn0·95Sn(S,Se)4 (CNZTSSe) films were synthesized on Mo-coated glass substrates by the simple sol–gel means combined with the selenization process, and CNZTSSe-based solar cells were successfully prepared. The effects of selenization temperature on [...] Read more.
Cu2Ni0·05Zn0·95Sn(S,Se)4 (CNZTSSe) films were synthesized on Mo-coated glass substrates by the simple sol–gel means combined with the selenization process, and CNZTSSe-based solar cells were successfully prepared. The effects of selenization temperature on the performance and the photoelectric conversion efficiency (PCE) of the solar cells were systematically studied. The results show that the crystallinity of films increases as the selenization temperature raises based on nickel (Ni) doping. When the selenization temperature reached 540 °C, CNZTSSe films with a large grain size and a smooth surface can be obtained. The Se doping level gradually increased, and Se occupied the S position in the lattice as the selenization temperature was increased so that the optical band gap (Eg) of the CNZTSSe film could be adjusted in the range of 1.14 to 1.06 eV. In addition, the Ni doping can inhibit the deep level defect of SnZn and the defect cluster [2CuZn + SnZn]. It reduces the carrier recombination path. Finally, at the optimal selenization temperature of 540 °C, the open circuit voltage (Voc) of the prepared device reached 344 mV and the PCE reached 5.16%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Thin Film Nanomaterials and Nanodevices)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Back Interface Passivation for Efficient Low-Bandgap Perovskite Solar Cells and Photodetectors
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(12), 2065; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12122065 - 15 Jun 2022
Viewed by 567
Abstract
Low-bandgap (Eg~1.25 eV) mixed tin-lead (Sn-Pb) perovskites are promising candidates for efficient solar cells and self-powered photodetectors; however, they suffer from huge amounts of defects due to the unintentional p-type self-doping. In this work, the synergistic effects of maltol and phenyl-C61-butyric [...] Read more.
Low-bandgap (Eg~1.25 eV) mixed tin-lead (Sn-Pb) perovskites are promising candidates for efficient solar cells and self-powered photodetectors; however, they suffer from huge amounts of defects due to the unintentional p-type self-doping. In this work, the synergistic effects of maltol and phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) were achieved to improve the performance of low-bandgap perovskite solar cells (PSCs) and unbiased perovskite photodetectors (PPDs) by passivating the defects and tuning charge transfer dynamics. Maltol eliminated the Sn-related traps in perovskite films through a strong metal chelating effect, whereas PCBM elevated the built-in electric potential and thus improved voltage through the spike energy alignment. Combining both advantages of maltol and PCBM, high-quality perovskite films were obtained, enabling low-bandgap PSCs with the best efficiency of 20.62%. Moreover, the optimized PSCs were further applied as self-powered PPDs in a visible light communication system with a response time of 0.736 μs, presenting a satisfactory audio transmission capability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Thin Film Nanomaterials and Nanodevices)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Application of Quantum Dot Interface Modification Layer in Perovskite Solar Cells: Progress and Perspectives
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(12), 2102; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12122102 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 730
Abstract
Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) are currently attracting a great deal of attention for their excellent photovoltaic properties, with a maximum photoelectric conversion efficiency (PCE) of 25.5%, comparable to that of silicon-based solar cells. However, PSCs suffer from energy level mismatch, a large number [...] Read more.
Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) are currently attracting a great deal of attention for their excellent photovoltaic properties, with a maximum photoelectric conversion efficiency (PCE) of 25.5%, comparable to that of silicon-based solar cells. However, PSCs suffer from energy level mismatch, a large number of defects in perovskite films, and easy decomposition under ultraviolet (UV) light, which greatly limit the industrial application of PSCs. Currently, quantum dot (QD) materials are widely used in PSCs due to their properties, such as quantum size effect and multi-exciton effect. In this review, we detail the application of QDs as an interfacial layer to PSCs to optimize the energy level alignment between two adjacent layers, facilitate charge and hole transport, and also effectively assist in the crystallization of perovskite films and passivate defects on the film surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Thin Film Nanomaterials and Nanodevices)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop