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Title: Nanoscale light manipulation for improved organic solar cells
Author: Fisher, Brett
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 7797
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2017
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Organic Solar Cells can be made to be flexible, semi-transparent, and low-cost making them ideal for novel energy harvesting applications such as in greenhouses. However, the main disadvantage of this technology is its low energy conversion efficiency (< 15%); mostly due to high recombination rates, compared with other higher performing technologies, such as thinfilm GaAs (> 30% Efficiency), and Si-based (> 20% Efficiency), solar cells, where recombination within these technologies is much less than Organic Solar Cells. There are still many challenges to overcome to improve the efficiency of Organic Solar Cells. Some of these challenges include: Maximising the absorption of the solar spectrum; improving the charge dynamics; and increasing the lifetime of the devices. One method to address some of these challenges is to include plasmonic nanoparticles into the devices, which has been shown to increase the absorption through scattering, and improve the charge dynamic through localised surface plasmon resonance effects. However, including nanoparticles into Organic Solar Cells has shown to adversely affect the performance of the devices in other ways, such as increasing the recombination of excitons. To address this, an additional (insulating) coating around the nanoparticles supresses this increase, and has shown to be able to increase the performance of the solar cells. In this work, we demonstrate the use of our all-inclusive optical model in the design and optimisation of bespoke colour-specific windows (i.e. Red, Green, and Blue), where the solar cells can be made to have a specific transparency and colour, whilst maximizing their efficiency. For example, we could specify that we wish the colour to be red, with 50% transmissivity; the model will then maximise the Power Conversion Efficiency. We also demonstrate how our extension to Mie theory can simulate nanoparticle systems and can be used to tune the plasmon resonance utilising different coatings, and configurations thereof.
Supervisor: Silva, S. ; Stolojan, Vlad Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available