Nanostructured p-type cobalt layered double hydroxide/n-type polymer bulk heterojunction yields an inexpensive photovoltaic cell

Birgit Schwenzer, James R. Neilson, Kevin Sivula, Claire Woo, Jean Frechet, Daniel E. Morse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

A low-cost, environmentally benign method was used to prepare nanostructured thin films of Co5(OH)8(NO3)2·2H2O, a layered double hydroxide p-type semiconductor. When infilled with poly(3-butylthiophene) (P3BT), an n-type semiconducting polymer, the resulting hybrid bulk heterojunction yields a photovoltaic device. The indium-doped tin oxide/Co5(OH)8(NO3)2·2H2O/P3BT/Al cell described here is an unprecedented example of an optoelectronic device fabricated by a low-cost biologically inspired pathway independent of organic structure-directing agents. Under illumination, this proof-of-principle device yields an open circuit voltage of 1.38 V, a short circuit current of 9 μA/cm2, a fill factor of 26% and a power efficiency of 3.2·10- 3%. While the open circuit voltage of this prototype cell is close to its theoretical maximum, potential sources of the observed low efficiency are identified, and a suggested path for improvement is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5722-5727
Number of pages6
JournalThin Solid Films
Volume517
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 3 2009

Keywords

  • Biologically inspired inorganic material
  • Cobalt layered double hydroxide
  • Electrical properties and measurements
  • Inorganic p-type semiconductor
  • Organic/inorganic hybrid bulk heterojunction solar cell
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • X-ray diffraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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