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Effect of Thermal Annealing on the Power Conversion Efficiency of CuO-Bulk Heterojunction P3HT/ PC70BM Solar Cells

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In this work, thermal annealing is used to optimize the power conversion efficiency of bulk heterojunction P3HT/PC70BM solar cells synthesized by incorporating copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO NPs). Thermal annealing of P3HT/PC70BM thin films was performed at 150° C for 30 minutes. X-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry analysis show an increase in crystallinity in the heat-treated samples. Atomic force microscopic analysis shows an increase in the surface roughness of the active layer after annealing. The increase in surface roughness seems to have improved the space available for P3HT crystallites to self-organize as the crystallinity of the active layer increased after annealing. Ultraviolet-visible and external quantum efficiency spectra indicate an increase in light absorption and charge carriers in the active layer as the crystallinity of the P3HT/PCBM domain increases. After annealing, the power conversion efficiency of P3HT/PC70BM solar cells incorporated with CuO NPs improved by 30% in comparison to the unannealed polymer solar cells.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2015-11-01

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