Hybrid polymer - metal oxide solar cells

Organic solar cells have the advantage of low cost and easy high-scale production. A fine morphological distribution of two types of materials (electron donor and electron acceptor) within one layer is essential for good device performance.

The advantage of hybrid organic solar cells is the stability and controllability of the morphology of the active layer. The morphology of ZnO:polymer hybrid solar cells is for a large part controlled by choosing the hydrophilicity of the polymer. A hydrophobic polymer, P3HT, creates a quite coarse distribution of ZnO within the layer. When this polymer is functionalized with ester functions, increasing the hydrophilicity, the ZnO shows a much finer distribution across the layer, as depicted in the figure below. In thin active layers, the finer morphology leads to an enhancement of device performance.