16 May 2017 General rules for incorporating noble metal nanoparticles in organic solar cells
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Over the recent years, the influence of the addition of noble metal nanoparticles (Au, Ag, Al, Cu) into the bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells on their efficiency of visible sunlight absorption has been excessively studied. However, several detailed studies were focused on compounds with similar chemical structure, and thus similar optical and electric properties. Such approach provides little help when it comes to admixing metallic nanoparticles into new compound families with different properties. Moreover, theoretical approaches frequently tend to neglect the fact, that nanoparticles have different dispersion relation than bulk material, which may lead to false conclusions. In this work, we consider additional dispersion modes in the metal permittivity due to finite size of the nanoparticles. We use Maxwell-Garnet effective medium approach (EMA), combined with the transfer matrix method, as well as finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations, to create a set of general rules for incorporating noble metal nanoparticles into the active layer. These principles, based on assumed basic properties of the active layer (e.g. real and imaginary part of refractive index, thickness) provide optimal material, size spectrum and fill factor of nanoparticle inclusions in order to ensure the best absorption enhancement. Our results show, that the optimal concentrations for silver nanoparticles are about 50% greater than those determined without taking into account additional components in the permittivity of the metal.
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A. Ciesielski, A. Ciesielski, D. Switlik, D. Switlik, T. Szoplik, T. Szoplik, "General rules for incorporating noble metal nanoparticles in organic solar cells", Proc. SPIE 10227, Metamaterials XI, 102270R (16 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2270206; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2270206

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