Improved performance of ZnO nanostructured bulk heterojunction organic solar cells with nanowire-density modified by yttrium chloride introduction into solution

Hyung Woo Choi, Kyu Sung Lee, N. David Theodore, Terry Alford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Yttrium doped zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires prepared on seedless indium tin oxide (ITO) substrates were used for nanostructured bulk heterojunction organic solar cells (OSCs). Without patterning by a mask, the optimized areal density of ZnO nanowires decreased the reflection of incident light impinging upon the substrate by more than 50%, resulting in better incident-photon to current efficiencies (IPCEs) than for solar cells without ZnO nanostructures. OSC decorated with yttrium doped ZnO nanostructures showed an increase in current density from 8.9 mA/cm2 to 9.9 mA/cm2 resulting in 15% better device performance than a planar bulk heterojunction OSC. It was found that the antireflective effect due to ZnO nanowires was maximized with an areal density of 50 nanowires per 100 μm2. The areal density was optimized by incorporation of 0.02 mM yttrium chloride into the growth solution during nanostructure formation. In addition, OSC that incorporated the optimized areal density and length of ZnO nanostructures showed a 25% improved power conversion efficiency of 2.5% compared to OSC prepared on an ITO substrate without the ZnO nanostructures. Our results indicate that growth of density-controlled ZnO nanowire arrays on seedless ITO substrates using yttrium dopant is simple, low cost, and easily controllable method that enables low temperature fabrication, without patterning, of antireflective structures for significantly enhanced efficiency bulk heterojunction OSCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-278
Number of pages6
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • Antireflection
  • Bulk heterojunction
  • Nanowire
  • Organic solar cell
  • Yttrium
  • Zinc oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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