Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: P3HT:ICBA

11 Absorption Control of Organic Solar Cells under LED Light for High Efficiency Indoor Power System

Authors: Premkumar Vincent, Hyeok Kim, Jin-Hyuk Bae


Organic solar cells have high potential which enables these to absorb much weaker light than 1-sun in indoor environment. They also have several practical advantages, such as flexibility, cost-advantage, and semi-transparency that can have superiority in indoor solar energy harvesting. We investigate organic solar cells based on poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and indene-C60 bisadduct (ICBA) for indoor application while Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) simulations were run to find the optimized structure. This may provide the highest short-circuit current density to acquire high efficiency under indoor illumination.

Keywords: indoor solar cells, indoor light harvesting, organic solar cells, P3HT:ICBA, renewable energy

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10 Enhancing Power Conversion Efficiency of P3HT/PCBM Polymer Solar Cells

Authors: Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, Mahmoud Algazzar


In this research, n-dodecylthiol was added to P3HT/PC70BM polymer solar cells to improve the crystallinity of P3HT and enhance the phase separation of P3HT/PC70BM. The improved crystallinity of P3HT/PC70BM doped with 0-5% by volume of n-dodecylthiol resulted in improving the power conversion efficiency of polymer solar cells by 33%. In addition, thermal annealing of the P3HT/PC70MB/n-dodecylthiolcompound showed further improvement in crystallinity with n-dodecylthiol concentration up to 2%. The highest power conversion efficiency of 3.21% was achieved with polymer crystallites size L of 11.2nm, after annealing at 150°C for 30 minutes under a vacuum atmosphere. The smaller crystallite size suggests a shorter path of the charge carriers between P3HT backbones, which could be beneficial to getting a higher short circuit current in the devices made with the additive.

Keywords: n-dodecylthiol, congugated PSC, P3HT/PCBM, polymer solar cells

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9 Photoinduced Energy and Charge Transfer in InP Quantum Dots-Polymer/Metal Composites for Optoelectronic Devices

Authors: Akanksha Singh, Mahesh Kumar, Shailesh N. Sharma


Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) such as CdSe, CdS, InP, etc. have gained significant interest in the recent years due to its application in various fields such as LEDs, solar cells, lasers, biological markers, etc. The interesting feature of the QDs is their tunable band gap. The size of the QDs can be easily varied by varying the synthesis parameters which change the band gap. One of the limitations with II-VI semiconductor QDs is their biological application. The use of cadmium makes them unsuitable for biological applications. III-V QD such as InP overcomes this problem as they are structurally robust because of the covalent bonds which do not allow the ions to leak. Also, InP QDs has large Bohr radii which increase the window for the quantum confinement effect. The synthesis of InP QDs is difficult and time consuming. Authors have synthesized InP using a novel, quick synthesis method which utilizes trioctylphosphine as a source of phosphorus. In this work, authors have made InP composites with P3HT(Poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl))polymer(organic-inorganic hybrid material) and gold nanoparticles(metal-semiconductor composites). InP-P3HT shows FRET phenomenon whereas InP-Au shows charge transfer mechanism. The synthesized InP QDs has an absorption band at 397 nm and PL peak position at 491 nm. The band gap of the InP QDs is 2.46 eV as compared to the bulk band gap of InP i.e. 1.35 eV. The average size of the QDs is around 3-4 nm. In order to protect the InP core, a shell of wide band gap material i.e. ZnS is coated on the top of InP core. InP-P3HT composites were made in order to study the charge transfer/energy transfer phenomenon between them. On adding aliquots of P3HT to InP QDs solution, the P3HT PL increases which can be attributed to the dominance of Förster energy transfer between InP QDs (donor) P3HT polymer (acceptor). There is a significant spectral overlap between the PL spectra of InP QDs and absorbance spectra of P3HT. But in the case of InP-Au nanocomposites, significant charge transfer was seen from InP QDs to Au NPs. When aliquots of Au NPs were added to InP QDs, a decrease in the PL of the InP QDs was observed. This is due to the charge transfer from the InP QDs to the Au NPs. In the case of metal semiconductor composites, the enhancement and quenching of QDs depend on the size of the QD and the distance between the QD and the metal NP. These two composites have different phenomenon between donor and acceptor and hence can be utilized for two different applications. The InP-P3HT composite can be utilized for LED devices due to enhancement in the PL emission (FRET). The InP-Au can be utilized efficiently for photovoltaic application owing to the successful charge transfer between InP-Au NPs.

Keywords: charge transfer, FRET, gold nanoparticles, InP quantum dots

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8 Statistical Mechanical Approach in Modeling of Hybrid Solar Cells for Photovoltaic Applications

Authors: A. E. Kobryn


We present both descriptive and predictive modeling of structural properties of blends of PCBM or organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites of the type CH3NH3PbX3 (X=Cl, Br, I) with P3HT, P3BT or squaraine SQ2 dye sensitizer, including adsorption on TiO2 clusters having rutile (110) surface. In our study, we use a methodology that allows computing the microscopic structure of blends on the nanometer scale and getting insight on miscibility of its components at various thermodynamic conditions. The methodology is based on the integral equation theory of molecular liquids in the reference interaction site representation/model (RISM) and uses the universal force field. Input parameters for RISM, such as optimized molecular geometries and charge distribution of interaction sites, are derived with the use of the density functional theory methods. To compare the diffusivity of the PCBM in binary blends with P3HT and P3BT, respectively, the study is complemented with MD simulation. A very good agreement with experiment and the reports of alternative modeling or simulation is observed for PCBM in P3HT system. The performance of P3BT with perovskites, however, seems as expected. The calculated nanoscale morphologies of blends of P3HT, P3BT or SQ2 with perovskites, including adsorption on TiO2, are all new and serve as an instrument in rational design of organic/hybrid photovoltaics. They are used in collaboration with experts who actually make prototypes or devices for practical applications.

Keywords: multiscale theory and modeling, nanoscale morphology, organic-inorganic halide perovskites, three dimensional distribution

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7 Photoelectrical Stimulation for Cancer Therapy

Authors: Mohammad M. Aria, Fatma Öz, Yashar Esmaeilian, Marco Carofiglio, Valentina Cauda, Özlem Yalçın


Photoelectrical stimulation of cells with semiconductor organic polymers have been shown promising applications in neuroprosthetics such as retinal prosthesis. Photoelectrical stimulation of the cell membranes can be induced through a photo-electric charge separation mechanism in the semiconductor materials, and it can alter intracellular calcium level through both stimulation of voltage-gated ion channels and increase of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level. On the other hand, targeting voltage-gated ion channels in cancer cells to induce cell apoptosis through calcium signaling alternation is an effective mechanism which has been explained before. In this regard, remote control of the voltage-gated ion channels aimed to alter intracellular calcium by using photo-active organic polymers can be novel technology in cancer therapy. In this study, we used P (ITO/Indium thin oxide)/P3HT(poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl)) and PN (ITO/ZnO/P3HT) photovoltaic junctions to stimulate MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. We showed that the photo-stimulation of breast cancer cells through photo capacitive current generated by the photovoltaic junctions are able to excite the cells and alternate intracellular calcium based on the calcium imaging (at 8mW/cm² green light intensity and 10-50 ms light durations), which has been reported already to safety stimulate neurons. The control group did not undergo light treatment and was cultured in T-75 flasks. We detected 20-30% cell death for ITO/P3HT and 51-60% cell death for ITO/ZnO/P3HT samples in the light treated MDA-MB-231 cell group. Western blot analysis demonstrated poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) activated cell death in the light treated group. Furthermore, Annexin V and PI fluorescent staining indicated both apoptosis and necrosis in treated cells. In conclusion, our findings revealed that the photoelectrical stimulation of cells (through long time overstimulation) can induce cell death in cancer cells.

Keywords: Ca²⁺ signaling, cancer therapy, electrically excitable cells, photoelectrical stimulation, voltage-gated ion channels

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6 Polymer Solar Cells Synthesized with Copper Oxide Nanoparticles

Authors: Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, Aruna P. Wanninayake


Copper Oxide (CuO) is a p-type semiconductor with a band gap energy of 1.5 eV, this is close to the ideal energy gap of 1.4 eV required for solar cells to allow good solar spectral absorption. The inherent electrical characteristics of CuO nano particles make them attractive candidates for improving the performance of polymer solar cells when incorporated into the active polymer layer. The UV-visible absorption spectra and external quantum efficiency of P3HT/PC70BM solar cells containing different weight percentages of CuO nano particles showed a clear enhancement in the photo absorption of the active layer, this increased the power conversion efficiency of the solar cells by 24% in comparison to the reference cell. The short circuit current of the reference cell was found to be 5.234 mA/cm2 and it seemed to increase to 6.484 mA/cm2 in cells containing 0.6 mg of CuO NPs; in addition the fill factor increased from 61.15% to 68.0%, showing an enhancement of 11.2%. These observations suggest that the optimum concentration of CuO nano particles was 0.6 mg in the active layer. These significant findings can be applied to design high-efficiency polymer solar cells containing inorganic nano particles.

Keywords: copper oxide nanoparticle, UV-visible spectroscopy, polymer solar cells, P3HT/PCBM

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5 Graphene Materials for Efficient Hybrid Solar Cells: A Spectroscopic Investigation

Authors: Mohammed Khenfouch, Fokotsa V. Molefe, Bakang M. Mothudi


Nowadays, graphene and its composites are universally known as promising materials. They show their potential in a large field of applications including photovoltaics. This study reports on the role of nanohybrids and nanosystems known as strong light harvesters in the efficiency of graphene hybrid solar cells. Our system included Graphene/ZnO/Porphyrin/P3HT layers. Moreover, the physical properties including surface/interface, optical and vibrational properties were also studied. Our investigations confirmed the interaction between the different components as well as the sensitivity of their photonics to the synthesis conditions. Remarkable energy and charge transfer were detected and deeply investigated. Hence, the optimization of the conditions will lead to the fabrication of higher conversion efficiency in graphene solar cells.

Keywords: graphene, optoelectronics, nanohybrids, solar cells

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4 Salicornia bigelovii, a Promising Halophyte for Biosaline Agriculture: Lessons Learned from a 4-Year Field Study in United Arab Emirates

Authors: Dionyssia Lyra, Shoaib Ismail


Salinization of natural resources constitutes a significant component of the degradation force that leads to depletion of productive lands and fresh water reserves. The global extent of salt-affected soils is approximately 7% of the earth’s land surface and is expanding. The problems of excessive salt accumulation are most widespread in coastal, arid and semi-arid regions, where agricultural production is substantially hindered. The use of crops that can withstand high saline conditions is extremely interesting in such a context. Salt-loving plants or else ‘halophytes’ thrive when grown in hostile saline conditions, where traditional crops cannot survive. Salicornia bigelovii, a halophytic crop with multiple uses (vegetable, forage, biofuel), has demonstrated remarkable adaptability to harsh climatic conditions prevailing in dry areas with great potential for its expansion. Since 2011, the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) with Masdar Institute (MI) and King Abdul Aziz University of Science & Technology (KAUST) to look into the potential for growing S. bigelovii under hot and dry conditions. Through the projects undertaken, 50 different S. bigelovii genotypes were assessed under high saline conditions. The overall goal was to select the best performing S. bigelovii populations in terms of seed and biomass production for future breeding. Specific objectives included: 1) evaluation of selected S. bigelovii genotypes for various agronomic and growth parameters under field conditions, 2) seed multiplication of S. bigelovii using saline groundwater and 3) acquisition of inbred lines for further breeding. Field trials were conducted for four consecutive years at ICBA headquarters. During the first year, one Salicornia population was evaluated for seed and biomass production at different salinity levels, fertilizer treatments and planting methods. All growth parameters and biomass productivity for the salicornia population showed better performance with optimal biomass production in terms of both salinity level and fertilizer application. During the second year, 46 Salicornia populations (obtained from KAUST and Masdar Institute) were evaluated for 24 growth parameters and treated with groundwater through drip irrigation. The plant material originated from wild collections. Six populations were also assessed for their growth performance under full-strength seawater. Salicornia populations were highly variable for all characteristics under study for both irrigation treatments, indicating that there is a large pool of genetic information available for breeding. Irrigation with the highest level of salinity had a negative impact on the agronomic performance. The maximum seed yield obtained was 2 t/ha at 20 dS/m (groundwater treatment) at 25 cm x 25 cm planting distance. The best performing Salicornia populations for fresh biomass and seed yield were selected for the following season. After continuous selection, the best performing salicornia will be adopted for scaling-up options. Taking into account the results of the production field trials, salicornia expansion will be targeted in coastal areas of the Arabian Peninsula. As a crop with high biofuel and forage potential, its cultivation can improve the livelihood of local farmers.

Keywords: biosaline agriculture, genotypes selection, halophytes, Salicornia bigelovii

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3 Morphological Characteristic of Hybrid Thin Films

Authors: Azyuni Aziz, Syed A. Malik, Shahrul Kadri Ayop, Fatin Hana Naning


Currently, organic-inorganic hybrid thin films have attracted researchers to explore them, where these thin films can give a lot of benefits. Hybrid thin films are thin films that consist of inorganic and organic materials. Inorganic and organic materials give high efficiency and low manufacturing cost in some applications such as solar cells application, furthermore, organic materials are environment-friendly. In this study, poly (3-hexylthiophene) was choosing as organic material which combined with inorganic nanoparticles, Cadmium Sulfide (CdS) quantum dots. Samples were prepared using new technique, Angle Lifting Deposition (ALD) at different weight percentage. All prepared samples were then characterized by Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) with Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to study surface of samples and determine their surface roughness. Results show that these inorganic nanoparticles have affected the surface of samples and surface roughness of samples increased due to increasing of weight percentage of CdS in the thin films samples.

Keywords: AFM, CdS, FESEM-EDX, hybrid thin films, P3HT

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2 Synthesis, Characterization and Applications of Some Selected Dye-Functionalized P and N-Type Nanoparticles in Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

Authors: Arifa Batool, Ghulam Hussain Bhatti, Syed Mujtaba Shah


Inorganic n-type (TiO2, CdO) and p-type (NiO, CuO) metal oxide nanoparticles were synthesized by a facile wet chemical method at room temperature. The morphological, compositional, structural and optical properties were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, FT-IR, XRD analysis, UV/Visible and fluorescence spectroscopy. All semiconducting nanoparticles were photosensitized with Ru (II) based Z907 dye in ethanol solvent by grafting. Grafting of dye on the surface of nanoparticles was confirmed by UV/Visible and FT-IR spectroscopy. The synthesized photo-active nanohybrid was thoroughly blended with P3HT, a solid electrolyte and I-V measurements under solar stimulated radiations 1000 W/m2 (AM 1.5) were recorded. Maximum incident photon to current conversion efficiency (IPCE) of 0.9% was achieved with dye functionalized Z907-TiO2 hybrid, IPCE of 0.72% was achieved with bulk-heterojunction of TiO2-Z907-CuO and IPCE of 0.68% was attained with nanocomposite of TiO2-CdO. TiO2 based Solar cells have maximum Jscvalue i.e.4.63 mA/cm2. Dye-functionalized TiO2-based photovoltaic devices were found more efficient than the reference device but the morphology of the device was a major check in progress.

Keywords: solar cell, bulk heterojunction, nanocomposites, photosensitization, dye sensitized solar cell

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1 ZnS and Graphene Quantum Dots Nanocomposite as Potential Electron Acceptor for Photovoltaics

Authors: S. M. Giripunje, Shikha Jindal


Zinc sulphide (ZnS) quantum dots (QDs) were synthesized successfully via simple sonochemical method. X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) analysis revealed the average size of QDs of the order of 3.7 nm. The band gap of the QDs was tuned to 5.2 eV by optimizing the synthesis parameters. UV-Vis absorption spectra of ZnS QD confirm the quantum confinement effect. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis confirmed the formation of single phase ZnS QDs. To fabricate the diode, blend of ZnS QDs and P3HT was prepared and the heterojunction of PEDOT:PSS and the blend was formed by spin coating on indium tin oxide (ITO) coated glass substrate. The diode behaviour of the heterojunction was analysed, wherein the ideality factor was found to be 2.53 with turn on voltage 0.75 V and the barrier height was found to be 1.429 eV. ZnS-Graphene QDs nanocomposite was characterised for the surface morphological study. It was found that the synthesized ZnS QDs appear as quasi spherical particles on the graphene sheets. The average particle size of ZnS-graphene nanocomposite QDs was found to be 8.4 nm. From voltage-current characteristics of ZnS-graphene nanocomposites, it is observed that the conductivity of the composite increases by 104 times the conductivity of ZnS QDs. Thus the addition of graphene QDs in ZnS QDs enhances the mobility of the charge carriers in the composite material. Thus, the graphene QDs, with high specific area for a large interface, high mobility and tunable band gap, show a great potential as an electron-acceptors in photovoltaic devices.

Keywords: graphene, heterojunction, quantum confinement effect, quantum dots(QDs), zinc sulphide(ZnS)

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