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Fabrication and characterization of solution processed thin film solar cells.

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This research focused on developing new organic and inorganic semiconductor materials and techniques for use in design and fabrication of organic photovoltaic solar cells. Despite OPVs having benefitted from material development and device preparation conditions optimization, the power conversion efficiency(PCE) of perovskite based solar cells is slightly over 22% while that of polymer based counterparts is still relatively low close to 13%. This is attributed to narrow optical absorption range in the solar spectrum and charge transport. Reproducibility, stability, durability and lifetime in addition to use of toxic lead and chlorinated solvents in OPV still remain major challenge to overcome before commercialization. Optimization of photoactive layer structure, interfacial layer mer solar cells and perovskite solar cell are at different stages of developme nt, it is important to note that they are fabricated using similar procedures andencounter similar challenges.Bimetallic nanocomposites were successfully synthesized and used to optimize the fabricated perovskite and polymer solar cells. Incorporation of narrow bandgap metal nanoparticles were employed at various layers as hole transport layer, electron transport layer and in the photoactive layer in order to investigate their effect on optical absorption, charge extraction and transport. Results indicated that bimetallic nanoparticles significantly improve the photovoltaic device performance through surface plasmonic resonance effects.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.