All-carbon composite for photovoltaics

Alvin T.L. Tan*, Vincent C. Tung, Jaemyung Kim, Jen Hsien Huang, Ian Tevis, Chih Wei Chu, Samuel I. Stupp, Jiaxing Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Graphitic nanomaterials such as graphene, carbon nanotubes (CNT), and C 60 fullerenes are promising materials for energy applications because of their extraordinary electrical and optical properties. However, graphitic materials are not readily dispersible in water. Strategies to fabricate all-carbon nanocomposites typically involve covalent linking or surface functionalization, which breaks the conjugated electronic networks or contaminates functional carbon surfaces. Here, we demonstrate a facile surfactant-free strategy to create such all-carbon composites. Fullerenes, unfunctionalized single walled carbon nanotubes, and graphene oxide sheets can be conveniently co-assembled in water, resulting in a stable colloidal dispersion amenable to thin film processing. The thin film composite can be made conductive by mild thermal heating. Photovoltaic devices fabricated using the all-carbon composite as the active layer demonstrated an on-off ratio of nearly 10 6, an open circuit voltage of 0.59V, and a power conversion efficiency of 0.21%. This photoconductive and photovoltaic response is unprecedented among all-carbon based materials. Therefore, this surfactant-free, aqueous based approach to making all-carbon composites is promising for applications in optoelectronic devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFunctional Two-Dimensional Layered Materials - From Graphene to Topological Insulators
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event2011 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 25 2011Apr 29 2011

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Other2011 MRS Spring Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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