Surfactant-free water-processable photoconductive all-carbon composite

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


Heterojunctions between different graphitic nanostructures, including fullerenes, carbon nanotubes and graphene-based sheets, have attracted significant interest for light to electrical energy conversion. Because of their poor solubility, fabrication of such all-carbon nanocomposites typically involves covalently linking the individual constituents or the extensive surface functionalization to improve their solvent processability for mixing. However, such strategies often deteriorate or contaminate the functional carbon surfaces. Here we report that fullerenes, pristine single walled carbon nanotubes, and graphene oxide sheets can be conveniently coassembled in water to yield a stable colloidal dispersion for thin film processing. After thermal reduction of graphene oxide, a solvent-resistant photoconductive hybrid of fullerene-nanotube-graphene was obtained with on-off ratio of nearly 6 orders of magnitude. Photovoltaic devices made with the all-carbon hybrid as the active layer and an additional fullerene block layer showed unprecedented photovoltaic responses among all known all-carbon-based materials with an open circuit voltage of 0.59 V and a power conversion efficiency of 0.21%. The ease of making such surfactant-free, water-processed, carbon thin films could lead to their wide applications in organic optoelectronic devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4940-4947
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 6 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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