Engineering Solution-Processed Metal Oxide Thin Films for Hybrid Electronic and Photovolatic Devices

Supervisors: Dr. Martyn McLachlan and Dr. Natalie Stingelin
Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Start: October 2010

Rob Hewlett
Hybrid polymer:oxide photovoltaic cells have received much interest due to their low cost, facile fabrication and attractive properties such as fast electron transport and chemical stability afforded to devices by the metal oxide. Current research into this area has clearly shown that understanding the interaction between the polymer and oxide and the processes which occur at their interface are vital to the design and fabrication of efficient hybrid photovoltaic devices. This project focusses on three key areas in the ZnO/poly(3-hexylthiophene) system: firstly, studying and tuning the electronic properties of ZnO; secondly, modification of the polymer-oxide interface; thirdly, the creation of 3D ordered macro- and mesoporous structures by solution processes in order to improve exciton harvesting in devices.

A number of characterisation techniques are employed to probe these films: scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) are used to study the structural properties of the films, whilst UV-visible transmission spectroscopy, X-ray and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS and UPS respectively) are used for analysing their surface electronic properties.

R. M. Hewlett, N. Stingelin, T. D. Anthopoulos and M. A. McLachlan Surface Analysis of Metal Oxide Semiconductor Layers for Hybrid Photovoltaic Systems”MRS Fall ’11, Boston USA, (poster presentation).