In the framework of polymer-based solar cells, we have been developing an alternative device fabrication strategy, which consists in a sequential coating of the donor and acceptor species from orthogonal solvents, resulting in a diffused bi-layer (DB) device structure.
The DB device geometry can be assimilated to a graded bulk heterojuntion with an improved reproducibility and mean power conversion efficiency (PCE) of ~3.4%, higher than that of the standard BHJ devices of ~3%.
The development of this novel fabrication strategy has lead to the demonstration of the first p-doped polymer based solar cell. We demonstrated that a fair doping of the donor with strong electron acceptor leads to a PCE of ~4.0%, compared to a PCE of ~3.4% for the pristine donor. We have also developed a novel approach to integrate colloidal anatase TiO2 nanorods as key functional components into organic photovoltaic devices by means of mild, all-solution-based processing techniques. We have demonstrated the successful integration of films and colloidal solutions of TiO2 nanorods in inverted and conventional solar cells geometries, respectively. Moreover, we have investigated the impact of post-deposition treatments on the photovoltaic performances of heterostructured CdSe@CdTe tetrapod based solar cells. We showed that the carboxylic acids gently and effectively remove the insulating surfactant, while preserving the nanocrystalline structure of the CdSe@CdTe tetrapods. We further exploit this method to fabricate high efficiency solar cells based on IR absorbing nanocrystals with a PCE of ~2.7%.
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