Significant efficiency enhancement of hybrid solar cells using core-shell nanowire geometry for energy harvesting

Shin Hung Tsai, Hung Chih Chang, Hsin Hua Wang, Szu Ying Chen, Chin An Lin, Show An Chen, Yu Lun Chueh, Jr Hau He*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


A novel strategy employing core-shell nanowire arrays (NWAs) consisting of Si/regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) was demonstrated to facilitate efficient light harvesting and exciton dissociation/charge collection for hybrid solar cells (HSCs). We experimentally demonstrate broadband and omnidirectional light-harvesting characteristics of core-shell NWA HSCs due to their subwavelength features, further supported by the simulation based on finite-difference time domain analysis. Meanwhile, core-shell geometry of NWA HSCs guarantees efficient charge separation since the thickness of the P3HT shells is comparable to the exciton diffusion length. Consequently, core-shell HSCs exhibit a 61% improvement of short-circuit current for a conversion efficiency (η) enhancement of 31.1% as compared to the P3HT-infiltrated Si NWA HSCs with layers forming a flat air/polymer cell interface. The improvement of crystal quality of P3HT shells due to the formation of ordering structure at Si interfaces after air mass 1.5 global (AM 1.5G) illumination was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. The core-shell geometry with the interfacial improvement by AM 1.5G illumination promotes more efficient exciton dissociation and charge separation, leading to η improvement (∼140.6%) due to the considerable increase in V oc from 257 to 346 mV, J sc from 11.7 to 18.9 mA/cm 2, and FF from 32.2 to 35.2%, which is not observed in conventional P3HT-infiltrated Si NWA HSCs. The stability of the Si/P3HT core-shell NWA HSCs in air ambient was carefully examined. The core-shell geometry should be applicable to many other material systems of solar cells and thus holds high potential in third-generation solar cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9501-9510
Number of pages10
JournalACS Nano
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 27 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • energy harvesting
  • hybrid solar cells-core-shell
  • light harvesting
  • nanowire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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