Research Article

Nano Research

, Volume 5, Issue 9, pp 595-604

Solution-processed bulk heterojunction solar cells based on interpenetrating CdS nanowires and carbon nanotubes

  • Zhen LiAffiliated withKey Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing Technology and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University
  • , Jinquan WeiAffiliated withKey Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing Technology and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University
  • , Peixu LiAffiliated withKey Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing Technology and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University
  • , Luhui ZhangAffiliated withDepartment of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, Peking University
  • , Enzheng ShiAffiliated withDepartment of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, Peking University
  • , Chunyan JiAffiliated withDepartment of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, Peking University
  • , Jiang LiuAffiliated withKey Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing Technology and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University
  • , Daming ZhuangAffiliated withKey Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing Technology and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University
  • , Zhendong LiuAffiliated withState Key Laboratory of New Ceramics and Fine Processing and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University
    • , Ji ZhouAffiliated withState Key Laboratory of New Ceramics and Fine Processing and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University
    • , Yuanyuan ShangAffiliated withCentre for Composite Materials and Structures, Harbin Institute of Technology
    • , Yibin LiAffiliated withCentre for Composite Materials and Structures, Harbin Institute of Technology
    • , Kunlin WangAffiliated withKey Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing Technology and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University
    • , Hongwei ZhuAffiliated withKey Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing Technology and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University
    • , Dehai WuAffiliated withKey Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing Technology and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University
    • , Anyuan CaoAffiliated withDepartment of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, Peking University Email author 

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Abstract

Incorporation of a bulk heterojunction is an effective strategy to enhance charge separation and carrier transport in solar cells, and has been adopted in polymeric and colloidal nanoparticle solar cells to improve energy conversion efficiency. Here, we report bulk heterojunction solar cells based on one-dimensional structures, fabricated by mixing CdS nanowires (CdS NWs) and single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to form a composite film with mutually interpenetrating networks through a simple solution-filtration process. Within the composite, the CNT network boosts charge separation by extracting holes generated from CdS NWs and also forms the transport path for carrier collection by the external electrode. At an optimized CNT loading of about 5 wt.%, the CdS NW/CNT bulk heterojunction solar cells showed three orders of magnitude increase in photocurrent and cell efficiency compared to a cell with the same materials arranged in a stacked layer configuration with a plain heterojunction. External quantum efficiency and photoluminescence studies revealed the efficient charge transfer process from photoexcited CdS NWs to CNTs in the mixed form. Our results indicate that the bulk heterojunction structure strategy can be extended to semiconductor NWs and CNTs and can greatly improve solar cell performance.
http://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1007%2Fs12274-012-0245-y/MediaObjects/12274_2012_245_Fig1_HTML.gif

Keywords

Bulk heterojunction solar cell CdS nanowire carbon nanotube