It has been demonstrated experimentally that the presence of metallic nanoparticles (MNPs) in the active layer assists in improving the power conversion efficiency of organic solar cells (OSCs), due to the combination of favorable optical as well as electrical effects. In this work, the optical effects of two different spherical MNPs (Ag and Au nanospheres) on absorption enhancement in the active layer with the optimal thickness are analyzed in detail using finite-difference time-domain simulation. The results reveal clearly that the absorption enhancement in the OSCs is dependent on both the properties of MNPs and the types of the donor/acceptor blend systems. We conclude that Au nanospheres are less effective as compared to Ag nanospheres on absorption enhancement in OSCs, and large sized MNPs are favorable for light trapping in the organic active layer due to the prominent plasmonic excitations. For a low bandgap polymer PSBTBT:PC71BM blend system incorporating Ag nanospheres, a 11.2% increase in the integrated absorption is obtained due to the excitation of magnetic and electric resonances of surface plasmons. This work could contribute to the development of high efficiency plasmonic OSCs.
A high performance proximity sensor that integrates a front semitransparent organic photodiode (OPD) and an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) is demonstrated. A 0.3-nm-thick plasma-polymerized fluorocarbon film (CFX)-modified thin silver interlayer, serving simultaneously as a semitransparent cathode for the OPD and an anode for OLED, is used to vertically connect the functional organic electronic components. A microcavity OLED is formed between a semitransparent Ag/CFX interlayer and the rear Al cathode enhancing the forward electroluminescence emission in the integrated device. The semitransparent-OPD/OLED stack is designed using an optical admittance analysis method. In the integrated sensor, the front semitransparent OPD component enables a high transmission of light emitted by the integrated OLED unit and a high absorption when light is reflected from objects, thereby to increase the signal/noise ratio. The design and fabrication flexibility of an integrated semitransparent-OPD/OLED device also has cost benefit, making it possible for application in organic proximity sensors.