Nanocrystal Based Solar Cells
Paul Mulvaney a
a University of Melbourne, School of Chemistry & Bio21 Institute, Parkville, 3010, Australia
Invited Speaker, Paul Mulvaney, presentation 001
Publication date: 1st April 2013

Semiconductor nanocrystals or quantum dots were proposed as tunable lumophores for a wide range of applications in the late 1990s : including biolabelling, single photon emitters, tunable LEDs and solar cells. However challenges in synthesizing these materials has led to only slow success in the development of devices.

In this talk we present results demonstrating that, with careful optimization, p-n junctions can be fabricated from nanocrystal inks using solution processing. Annealing converts the inks into continuous semiconductor films with well-defined optical and electrical properties. Unlike the case for PbS(Se) based PV devices, quantum size effects are not beneficial for tuning the film band gap of CdTe PV systems. The goal of the solution processing is to convert the small crystals into a bulk semiconductor film.

The main advantages of nanocrysal inks in this case are : (i) solution processing is scaleable and avoids expensive vacuum processing steps. (ii) The annealing can be carried out at low temperatures, which enable deposition onto polymer and other soft surfaces for flexible electronics. We show how devices with efficiencies up to 10% may be fabricated at a fraction of the cost of conventional PV devices. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this approach.

Finally we consider some non-Cd alternatives for NC based photovoltaics. [1,2].

I-V curves for CdTe-ZnO Nanocrystal Solar Cell, showing the importance of pinhole removal and doping density for good IPCE.
[1]. J.Jasieniak, B. Macdonald, S. Watkins, P. Mulvaney, Nano Letters, 11, 2856-64 (2011). [2]. B. Macdonald, J.Jasieniak, S. Watkins, P. Mulvaney, ACS Nano, 6, 5995-6004 2012.
© Fundació Scito
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