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Keywords:

  • bulk-heterojunction solar cells;
  • conjugated polymers;
  • light trapping;
  • polymer blends;
  • soft lithography

Abstract

Polymer-based photovoltaic cells, with periodic sub-micrometer structures as an efficient light-trapping scheme, are investigated to improve the performance of organic solar cells based on poly(3-hexylthiophene) and 1-(3-methoxycarbonyl)propyl-1-phenyl-(6,6)C61. A soft lithographic approach that uses photoresponsive azo polymer films as masters and poly(dimethylsiloxane) as stamps is used to form surface relief gratings (SRGs) on the active layers. The effect of periodic gratings on solar cell performance is precisely investigated according to various grating conditions such as period, depth, and dimension. The solar cells with 1D and 2D SRGs present improved incident-photon-to-current conversion efficiencies and an overall increase in power conversion efficiencies, primarily resulting from the enhancement of short-circuit current density, indicating that periodic structures induce further photon absorption in the active film.