Charge generation and energy transfer in hybrid polymer/infrared quantum dot solar cells

Conjugated polymers blended with nanocrystal quantum dots are interesting as solution processable active layers for infrared light harvesting in thin film solar cells. We study photocurrent generation processes in hybrid polymer/quantum dot photovoltaics by comparing device performance and photoinduced absorption (PIA) spectra across blends of three different conjugated polymers, poly(2,3-bis(2-(hexyldecyl)-quinoxaline-5,8-diyl-alt-N-(2-hexyldecyl)-dithieno[3,2-b:2',3'-d]pyrrole) (PDTPQx-HD), poly[(4,4'-bis(3-(2-hexyl-decyl)dithieno[3,2-b:2',3'-d]pyrrole)-2,6-diyl-alt-(2,5-bis(3-(2-ethyl-hexyl)thiophen-2yl)thiazolo[5,4-d]thiazole)] (PPEHTT), and poly[(4,4'-bis(2-octyl)dithieno[3,2-b:2'3'-d]silole)-2,6-diyl-alt-(2,5-bis(3-octylthiophen-2yl)thiazolo[5,4-d]thiazole)] (PSOTT) with PbS quantum dots. The PIA spectra and device performance provide evidence for long-lived photoinduced charge separation and bulk heterojunction device operation for blends of both PDTPQx-HD and PPEHTT with PbS. In contrast we find that PSOTT/PbS blends can produce viable solar cells without any evidence for long-lived charge transfer in the PIA spectra. Even so, the external quantum efficiency (EQE) spectra of PSOTT/PbS solar cells indicate that the polymer plays a significant role in light harvesting. We use photoluminescence excitation spectroscopy to confirm that the polymer funnels energy to the PbS quantum dots via energy transfer, and speculate that these blends may operate as PbS Schottky diodes sensitized by energy transfer from the semiconducting polymer host.

Strein, Elisabeth, Adam Colbert, Selvam Subramaniyan, Hirokazu Nagaoka, Cody W. Schlenker, Eric Janke, Samson A. Jenekhe, David S. Ginger

Energy & Environmental Science





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