Tampere University of Technology

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Development Of Conjugated Copolymers for Carbon Nanotube-based Solar Cells

Research output: Book/ReportMaster's ThesisScientific


Original languageEnglish
PublisherQueens University
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeG2 Master's thesis, polytechnic Master's thesis


The investigation carried out in this project allowed for the development of eleven regioregular π-conjugated alternating copolymers and their implementation in organic solar cells. The eleven synthesized polymers, poly[(2,7-(9-(heptadecan-9-yl)-9H-carbazole))-alt-(4,7-dithien-2-yl-2,1,3-benzothiadiazole)] (CB), poly[(2,7-(9,9-dioctyl-9H-fluorene-2,7-diyl))-alt-(1,6-pyrene)] (LP), poly[(2,7-(9-(heptadecan-9-yl)-9H-carbazole))-alt-(5,5’’’-(3,3’’’-dihexyl-2,2':5',2'':5'',2'''-quarterthiophene))] (CT), poly[(2,7-(9-(heptadecan-9-yl)-9H-carbazole))-alt-(2,7-9H-fluoren-9-one)] (CF), poly[(2,7-(9-(heptadecan-9-yl)-9H-carbazole))-alt-(1,6-pyrene)] (CP), poly[(2,7-(9,9-dioctyl-9H-fluorene-2,7-diyl))-alt-(4,7-dithien-2-yl-2,1,3-benzothiadiazole)] (LB), poly[(2,7-(9,9-dioctyl-9H-fluorene-2,7-diyl))-alt-(2,7-9H-fluoren-9-one)] (LF), poly[(5,5’’’-(3,3’’’-dihexyl-2,2':5',2'':5'',2'''-quarterthiophene))-alt-(2,7-9H- fluoren-9-one)] (TF), poly[(2,7-(9,9-dioctyl-9H-fluorene-2,7-diyl))-alt-(4,4'-dioctyl-2,2'-bithiophene)] (oTLT), poly[(2,7-(9-(heptadecan-9-yl)-9H-carbazole))-alt-(4,4'-dioctyl-2,2'-bithiophene)] (oTCT), poly[(2,7-(9-(heptadecan-9-yl)-9H-carbazole))-alt-(4,4'-dihexyl-2,2'-bithiophene)] (TCT), were investigated using theoretical methods that included semi-empirical geometry optimizations, density functional theory (DFT) energy calculations, and time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) optical absorption predictions. The absorption predictions gave credence to our experimental results in which the absorption of the longer polymer chains underwent a redshift from the monomer absorption. With several of the prepared polymers, bulk-heterojunction photovoltaic cells were fabricated and their photovoltaic activity was investigated. Several of the fabricated cells exhibited photovoltaic efficiencies including polymer/PCBM composites with an aluminum back electrode (CF, CT, P3HT, and MEH-PPV), and also inverted cells with a silver back electrode (CT, P3HT, and MEH-PPV). Several polymers (CF, CT, TCT, LP, oTCT, oTLT, P3HT, and MEH-PPV) were used to solubilize single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). The solubility of the nanotubes occurred by the polymers’ ability to wrap the tubes, disrupt the bundles (ropes of tubes), and allow for the creation of a homogeneous mixture. Polymer:PCBM:SWNT mixtures were prepared and utilized as the active layer in BHJ solar cells. Some of the inverted cells (with a silver back electrode) that incorporated the nanotube composites (CT, oTCT, oTLT, P3HT, and MEH-PPV) displayed photovoltaic activity. These preliminary results illuminate the photovoltaic behavior of the polymer and provide evidence for their future use in polymer solar cells.