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Title: Next generation solar cells using flexible transparent electrodes based on silver nanowires and grapheme
Author: Alomairy, Sultan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 5316
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2015
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Organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices have been developed extensively and optimised due to the use of nanomaterials in their construction. More recently, the demand for such devices to be flexible and mechanically robust has been a major area of research. Presently, Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) is the material that is used almost exclusively for transparent electrode. However, it has several drawbacks such as brittleness, high refractive index and high processing temperature. Furthermore, the price of ITO has been highly volatile due to scarcity of indium resources and the increased consumption of the material. Therefore, cheap, flexible and solution-processed transparent conductors are required for emerging optoelectronic devices with flexible construction which can be promising for wearable or environmentally adaptable devices purposes such as flexible solar cells and displays. Therefore, over the past decade an alternative material has been sought intensively, particularly in the need for producing large area flexible transparent electrodes. Many materials have been investigated but most investigations have focused on carbon nanotube (CNT), graphene flakes and metallic nanowires. Silver nanowires (Ag NWs) networks have been proven to show a high electrical conductivity with high optical transmittance. This special characteristic is desirable in transparent conductive electrodes in optoelectronic applications such as solar cells, light emitting diodes, and touch screen. On the other hand, Polymeric substrates that act as a non-brittle scaffold as well as protective packaging of the OPV are an essential element for such an “All-plastic” device. However, for such applications where the coating should be relatively hard a bottleneck to fabricating large area homogeneous films is associated with the formation of cracks as a result of local mismatches in mechanical properties during film formation. In this work, the fabrication and characterization of flexible transparent electrodes of Ag NWs on flexible substrates by spray deposition technique have been described. Furthermore, a way to enhance the electrical and mechanical properties of the Ag NWs transparent electrodes by incorporating a low density ensemble of graphene on top of the metal electrode networks using the Langmuir-Schafer has been achieved. Interestingly, the electrical conductivity in these hybrid electrodes is stable over relatively large strains during mechanical agitation indicating that such electrodes may have important application in future applications. Finally, producing crack-free monolayer latex over large area has been fabricated and characterised. Therefore, the polymer latex thin film has promising applications as purposes of hard coatings.
Supervisor: Dalton, Alan Sponsor: Saudi Government
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available