Utilizing Wide Band Gap, High Dielectric Constant Nanoparticles as Additives in Organic Solar Cells

Ryan S. Gebhardt, Pengfei Du, Akshit Peer, Mitch Rock, Michael R. Kessler, Rana Biswas, Baskar Ganapathysubramanian, Sumit Chaudhary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We experimentally and theoretically investigate the effects of utilizing BaTiO3 nanoparticles as additives in polythiophene/fullerene solar cells. BaTiO3 nanoparticles were chosen because of their multifaceted potential for increasing exciton dissociation (due to their high dielectric constant) and light scattering. To achieve stable suspensions for device fabrication, the nanoparticles were functionalized with organic ligands. Solar cells fabricated in air showed ∼40% enhancement in the photocurrent primarily due to string-like aggregates of functionalized BaTiO3 particles that increase light absorption without hindering charge collection. Solar cells fabricated in an inert atmosphere yielded overall more efficient devices, but the string-like aggregates were absent and enhancement in photocurrent was up to ∼6%. Simulations with the excitonic drift-diffusion model demonstrate that a bare nanoparticle significantly increases exciton dissociation, whereas the functional group negates this effect. Simulations utilizing the scattering matrix method reveal that absorption enhancements caused by light scattering increase as the nanoparticles aggregate into string-like structures. These results offer insights for morphological design of ternary-blend bulk-heterojunction organic solar cells.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23883-23889
Number of pages7
Issue number42
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-11-04
Acknowledgements: This material is primarily based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants CBET-1236839 and ECCS-1055930. B.G. and P.D. acknowledge partial support from KAUST CRG and NSF Grant CMMI-1149365. R.B. acknowledges partial support from the Ames Laboratory, operated for the Department of Energy (theoretical analysis) by Iowa State University under Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11385; and the National Science Foundation through Grants ECCS-1232067 and CBET-1336134 (computational work). The research used resources at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), which is supported by the Office of Science of the USDOE under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • General Energy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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