Multi-Layers Polymeric Solar Cells With Embedded Nanostructures

Project PI: Dr. Nader Shehata
Project Team: Dr. Islam Ashry, Dr. Ishac Kandas
Research area: Renewable Energy & Nanotechnology


This proposal reports the fabrication of multi-layers polymeric solar cell with the integration of different nanostructures. Polymeric solar cells have many privileges because they are cheap (compared to silicon wafers or heterostructures), easy to be fabricated, and they do not need cleaning room processes. However, the main problem of the polymeric solar cells is the relatively low power conversion efficiency. Increasing the efficiency is the main target of this project through the deposition of different separate/combined layers including quantum dots (QDs), nonlinear polymers, fluorescent nanoparticles, and conductive nanofibers. The added materials would act as wavelength converters to get benefit of the unabsorbed wavelengths from the solar spectrum.

In this project, we report three different methods that could be used separately or combined to enhance the efficiency of polymeric solar cells. Spin coating and layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembly techniques will be used to add QDs, nonlinear materials, and some fluorescent nanoparticles to polymeric solar cells during their fabrication. Additionally, electro-spinning process will be used to deposit conductive nanofibers over the polymeric solar cells to improve the conductivity of the generated photo-electrons from the active region to the electrodes.