Synthesis of N-doped broken hollow carbon spheres and inorganic-organic hybrid perovskite materials for application in photovoltaic devices
The mandate for renewable energy sources to replace the current reliance on fossil fuels as a primary energy source has recently attracted a lot of research interest. The research has also focussed on bringing the technologies that take into consideration the goal of reducing environmental pollution. Consequently, approaches using photovoltaic (PV) technologies have been a promising arena to tackle the problem facing energy sources. Recently, more focus has been placed on improving the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of PV devices, such as organic and/or organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite solar cells. Therefore, in this work two different materials were applied in two independent PV devices, namely organic and/or organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite solar cells. One study employed nitrogen doped broken hollow carbon spheres (N-bHCSs), with an aim of enhancing the electronic properties of the P3HT:PCBM active layer of an organic photovoltaic (OPV) solar cell. N-bHCSs were successfully synthesized using a horizontal chemical vapour deposition method (H-CVD) employing a template-based method and the carbon was doped using in-situ and ex-situ doping techniques. Pyridine, acetonitrile and toluene were used as both carbon and nitrogen precursors. The dispersity of the SiO2 spheres (i.e. templates) was found to play a role on the breakage of the N-bHCSs. Incorporation of the N-bHCSs into the P3HT:PCBM active layer was found to enhance the charge transfer and this led to less recombination of photogenerated charges in the interface between the donor and acceptor. The current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of the ITO/PEPOT:PSS/P3HT:PCBM:N-bHCSs/Al solar cell devices revealed an increased chargetransport distance due to increased electron density by n-type doping from the N-bHCSs. The second study employed the organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite (CH3NH3PbI3) material as a light harvesting layer in an ITO/PEDOT:PSS/CH3NH3PbI3/PC6BM/Al solar cell device. Initially, the device parameters were optimised to obtain the best performing device. These include parameters such as the degradation of the hybrid film as a function of time and air exposure. A rapid degradation was seen on the device after 24 h of air exposure which was accompanied by the decrease in the PV performance of the device. The degradation was visually seen by the formation of crystal grains (i.e. “islands”) on the perovskite film.
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Science, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in fulfilment of the requirements for degree of Master of Science in Chemistry
Baloyi, Hajeccarim (2018) Synthesis of N-doped broken hollow carbon spheres and inorganic-organic hybrid perovskite materials for application in photovoltaic devices, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg,https://hdl.handle.net/10539/26291