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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Inverse Templation of Semiconductor CdSe, CdTe and ZnO Nanorods using Mesoporous Thin Films: Towards High Power Efficiency Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Solar Cells


Recent developments in conducting conjugated organic polymers and semiconductor nano-rods (CdSe, CdTe, ZnO, TiO2) have led to the development of hybrid organic/inorganic solar cells. These cells offer the possibility of spin on deposition and low cost fabrication not possible with current silicon based cells. However, the power conversion efficiencies for the hybrid cells are reduced compared to conventional systems. Increased efficiency can only be achieved by controlling the alignment and aspect ratios of the nano-rods in the organic polymer matrix. In this project, I propose to use the ordered hexagonal pore structure of mesoporous thin films (honeycomb silica structure with aligned pores 2-10 nm in diameter deposited on a substrate) to template semiconductor nano-rod growth. Replacing the silica pore walls with a conductive polymer matrix by selective etch and deposition will leave a hybrid organic inorganic composite with unidirectional aligned nano-rods. Additionally, pore engineering of the mesoporous film s will allow aspect ration control over the included nano-rods. Varying the radius of the rods can introduce a quantum confinement effect to control the band gap allowing maximum adsorption of light if the energy difference of the band gap can be tuned to im portant light adsorbing wavelengths. Dimensional control over the nano-rods in the matrix will both reduce charge recombination and increase charge mobility leading to significant increases in power conversion efficiency.

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