Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Solar Cells
Photovoltaics, more generally known as solar cells, are made from semiconducting materials that convert light into electricity. Solar cells have received much attention in recent years due to their promise as clean and efficient light-harvesting devices. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) could play a crucial role in these devices and have been the subject of much research, which continues to this day. SWNTs are known to outperform multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) at low densities, because of the difference in their optical transmittance for the same current density, which is the most important parameter in comparing SWNTs and MWNTs. SWNT films show semiconducting features, which make SWNTs function as active or charge-transporting materials. This chapter, consisting of two sections, focuses on the use of SWNTs in solar cells. In the first section, we discuss SWNTs as a light harvester and charge transporter in the photoactive layer, which are reviewed chronologically to show the history of the research progress. In the second section, we discuss SWNTs as a transparent conductive layer outside of the photoactive layer, which is relatively more actively researched. This section introduces SWNT applications in silicon solar cells, organic solar cells, and perovskite solar cells each, from their prototypes to recent results. As we go along, the science and prospects of the application of solar cells will be discussed.
KeywordsCarbon nanotube Silicon solar cells Organic solar cells Perovskite solar cells
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