Chemical Modification of Carbon Nano Structures Leading to Hybrid Materials for Photovoltaics
Enzo Menna a b, Teresa Gatti a
a University of Padova, Department of Chemical Sciences, Via Francesco Marzolo, 1, Padova, Italy
b University of Padova, Interdepartmental Centre “Giorgio Levi Cases” for Energy Economics and Technology
Proceedings of International Conference on Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics (HOPV19)
Roma, Italy, 2019 May 12th - 15th
Organizers: Prashant Kamat, Filippo De Angelis and Aldo Di Carlo
Poster, Enzo Menna, 190
Publication date: 11th February 2019

The use of carbon nanostructures (CNSs) in energy related applications attracts large attention for different scopes, ranging from energy harvesting to storage and release. The combination of CNSs, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene based materials (e.g. reduced graphene oxide, RGO), with p-conjugated polymers is particularly interesting for a possible use of the resulting polymer nanocomposites as active materials in energy related applications such as photovoltaic devices. The development of targeted functionalization processes can be a valid strategy to contrast CNS aggregation, while limiting the loss of electronic properties, and to tune the interactions between conductive polymers and CNSs.

In an effort towards such a direction, we studied functionalization strategies to obtain CNS based functional materials that have been investigated for possible applications in the energy related fields. Among them, the preparation of photoactive heterojunction active layers based on blends of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and derivatized (both covalently and non-covalently) CNTs bearing thienyl moieties. In this contest, we observed how an increase of functionalization degree affects the electronic communication of CNSs with P3HT. Different P3HT nanocomposites, based on functionalized CNTs and RGO, were used as hole transporting materials in perovskite solar cells (PSC), providing higher η and prolonged shelf-life stabilities. In the field of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC), grafting of photoactive molecules on RGO has led to novel photosensitizing agents that showed stronger binding to the semiconductor oxide in comparison to the reference dye, paving the way to a new generation of DSSC photoanodes with improved chemical stability.

Funding from Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo (Visiting Programme 2018 - project CHIMERA) and Centro Studi di Economia e Tecnica dell'Energia Giorgio Levi Cases of the University of Padova (project OPERA) is gratefully acknowledged.

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