Active layer-incorporated, spectrally-tuned nanostructure-based light trapping for organic photovoltaic devices

Publication number: WO2014160394 A1
Application number: PCT/US2014/026486
Publication date: 2 Oct 2014
Filing date: 13 Mar 2014

Inventors: Vladan Jankovic, Yang Yang, Jane Chang

Original Assignee:  The Regents Of The University Of California

Summary:

Core/shell resonant light absorption and scattering materials and methods incorporated into active layers for increasing the short circuit current and photo conversion efficiency of organic photovoltaic systems are provided. In particular, resonant light absorption and scattering methods and materials for improving the efficiency (short circuit current Qsc) and photo conversion efficiency (PCE)) of organic photovoltaic polymer systems (OPV) that include multilayer nanostructures having a noble metal core and a passivated and functionalized outer shell disposed with the active layer of the OPV in the form of nanospheres and nanorods have been synthesized, characterized and incorporated into the active layers of OPV devices to enhance light absorption through plasmonic light trapping (PLT). In some embodiments the peak extinction wavelength of the nanoparticles is designed to coincide with the wavelength region of the OPV band edge in order to ensure that light trapping is occurring at wavelengths of poor absorption. In other embodiments, a second shell consisting of an optically active material is deposited onto the nanoparticles, the material being selected such that the extinction peak of the core of the nanoparticles is designed to coincide with the emission peak of the rare earth energy transition in order to increase the spontaneous emission rate at that wavelength by taking advantage of the Purcell effect.

CLAIMS  
1. Resonant light absorption and scattering organic photovoltaic materials comprising:
a multilayer nanostructure having a core formed of a noble metal andhaving a shell disposed thereon having:
a first shell layer disposed atop the core being formed of a passivating material, and
a second shell layer disposed atop the first shell layer being formed of an optically active material said first shell layer being or optically active character; wherein the multilayer nanostructure has disposed thereon at least one functional ligand capable of placing the nanostructure into solution with an organic solvent in an active layer of an organic photovoltaic system;
wherein the core of the nanostructure exerts a local surface plasmon resonance near field absorption enhancement over the absorption of light by the organic photovoltaic active layer over the wavelength band of the plasmon resonance of the nanostructure core; and
wherein the optically active material has optical activity at a wavelength band that overlaps with the peak extinction of the local surface plasmon resonance wavelength band of the nanostructure core.
2. The materials of claim 1, wherein the nanostructure is a non-symmetric elongated body, selected from one of a nanosphere, nanostar, nanocube andnanorod.
3. The materials of claim 1, wherein the noble metal is selected from the group consisting of palladium, silver, platinum and gold, wherein the passivation layer is an oxide, and wherien the optically active material is a rare earth material.
4. An organic photovoltaic system comprising:
an active light absorbing layer, said layer being formed of an organic polymer;
a plurality of multilayer nanostructures each having:
a core formed of a noble metal, a shell disposed thereon formed of apassivating material, and
wherein the multilayer nanostructure has disposed thereon at least one functional ligand capable of placing the nanostructure into solution with the organic polymer in the active layer; and
wherein the core of the nanostructure exerts a local surface plasmon resonance near field absorption enhancement over the absorption of light by the organic photovoltaic active layer over the wavelength band of the plasmon resonance of the nanostructure core.
5. The system of claim 4, wherein the nanostructure is a non-symmetric elongated body, selected from one of a nanosphere, nanostar, nanocube andnanorod.
6. The system of claim 4, wherein the noble metal is selected from the group consisting of palladium, silver, platinum and gold.
7. The system of claim 4, wherein the absorption and scattering of the nanostructure is at least partially controlled by the size and geometry of the noble metal core.
8. The system of claim 4, wherein the shell is a passivation layer that is electrically insulating.
9. The system of claim 4, wherein the passivating material is an oxide.
10. The system of claim 4, wherein the functional ligand is an organosilane.
11. The system of claim 4, wherein the nanostructures are disposed within the active light absorbing layer in a concentration of from 0.4 to 2.0 mg/ml.
12. An organic photovoltaic system comprising:
an active light absorbing layer, said layer being formed of an organic polymer;
a plurality of multilayer nanostructures each having: a core formed of anoble metal,
a first shell layer disposed atop the core being formed of a passivating material,
a second shell layer disposed atop the first shell layer being formed of an optically active material, and
wherein the multilayer nanostructure has disposed thereon at least one functional ligand capable of placing the nanostructure into solution with the organic polymer in the active layer;
wherein the core of the nanostructure exerts a local surface plasmon resonance near field absorption enhancement over the absorption of light by the organic photovoltaic active layer over the wavelength band of the plasmon resonance of the nanostructure core; and
wherein the optically active material has optical activity at a wavelength band that overlaps with the peak extinction of the local surface plasmon resonance wavelength band of the nanostructure core.
13. The system of claim 12, wherein the nanostructure is a non-symmetric elongated body, selected from one of a nanosphere, nanostar, nanocube andnanorod.
14. The system of claim 12, wherein the noble metal is selected from the group consisting of palladium, silver, platinum and gold.
15. The system of claim 12, wherein the absorption and scattering of the nanostructure is at least partially controlled by the size and geometry of the noble metal core.
16. The system of claim 12, wherein the shell is a passivation layer that is electrically insulating.
17. The system of claim 12, wherein the passivating material is an oxide.
18. The system of claim 12, wherein the functional ligand is an organosilane.
19. The system of claim 12, wherein the optically active layer is formed of Er3+:Y203.
20. The system of claim 12, wherein the nanostructures are disposed within the active light absorbing layer in a concentration of from 0.4 to 2.0 mg/ml.