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Title: Sol-gel processed zinc oxide for third generation photovoltaics
Author: Zou, Elva Xin
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis presents an experimental study of the incorporation and optimization of sol-gel processed aluminum doped zinc oxide (AZO) thin films in solar cell devices. I first optimized the optoelectronic properties of AZO thin films by manipulating the dopant incorporation, choice of precursor chemicals and post deposition anneal treatments. Results showed that improved performance could be attributed to several factors, including improved charge carrier concentration, mobility and conductivity. AZO thin films with transmittance of over 90% and resistivity values of the order of 10-2 Ω•cm have been achieved. I also demonstrated the successful application of these AZO thin films in organic photovoltaics (OPV), to serve as an alternative to ITO electrodes. I demonstrated greater than 2-fold improvement in device efficiency through the modification of the front contact/polymer interface using zinc oxide buffer layers. This improved the charge selectivity of the electrodes and energy level alignment at the interface while reducing the recombination of separated charges and the device's series resistance. Finally, I showed that the efficiency of inverted ZnO/PbS quantum dots solar cells can be enhanced by optimizing the p-type PbS thickness, UV treating the n-type ZnO layer and exposing the devices in the dark to nitrogen. Both ZnO and AZO systems were studied, and efficiency enhancement were demonstrated for a range of Al content from 0 to O.4at.%.
Supervisor: Watt, Andrew Archibald Ronald ; Grovenor, Chris Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Solar cells ; Aluminum-zinc alloys ; Thin films ; Photovoltaic power generation