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Organic Solar Cells. Elizabeth Thomsen. Organic Semiconductors. Organic. Semi Conductor. Artist’s impression!. Organic Semiconductors. Combine the virtues of plastics with those of semiconductors High optical absorption coefficients Properties tuned with flexible synthesis

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organic solar cells

Organic Solar Cells

Elizabeth Thomsen

organic semiconductors
Organic Semiconductors


Semi Conductor

Artist’s impression!

organic semiconductors3
Organic Semiconductors
  • Combine the virtues of plastics with those of semiconductors
  • High optical absorption coefficients
  • Properties tuned with flexible synthesis
  • Low cost fabrication
organic solar cells4
Organic Solar Cells
  • Potential for medium efficiency, very low cost solar cells
organic solar cells5
Organic Solar Cells

Charge extraction of carriers

Absorption of photons to form excitons

Charge separation of excitons

conjugated materials
Conjugated materials
  • Polymers generally insulating
  • Alternating single and double bonds (conjugated)
  • π electrons able to delocalise into clouds above and below the chain
  • Bandgap suitable for absorption of sunlight
active layer materials
Active Layer Materials

Electron transporter

Hole transporter

Conjugated polymer


Conjugated dendrimer/ small molecule


conjugated material nanocrystal composites
Conjugated material: nanocrystal composites
  • Typically nanocrystals synthesised separately to polymer, then mixed
  • Disadvantages
    • Nanocrystal surfactant inhibits charge transfer
    • Co-solvents required for mixing: can adversely affect nanocrystal solubility and polymer chain orientation
  • One-pot synthesis of conjugated polymer: nanocrystal composite developed by Watt et al.
  • Extended this synthesis to a conjugated oligomer and a dendrimer
conjugated small molecule nanocrystal composite
Conjugated small molecule: nanocrystal composite





Sulphur flakes in toluene

Toluene DMSO

Oligomer: CdS in chloro-benzene

OligomerCadmium acetate


final thoughts
Final thoughts
  • Grew PbS and CdS nanocrystals in oligomer, PbS nanocrystals in dendrimer
  • Highly likely the synthesis can be generalised to a variety of conjugated soluble small molecule: nanocrystal systems
  • Combination of materials extends the absorption spectrum
  • Direct interaction between the small molecule and the nanocrystal is likely to enable efficient charge separation
  • Shape control of nanoparticles may improve charge transfer through the device
  • Alexandros Stravinadis
  • Andrew Watt

Thankyou for listening!