• flexible hybrid photovoltaic cell;
  • interfacial junction;
  • photoconductivity;
  • indoor photovoltaic;
  • silicon–polyaniline composite


Photoactive composites comprising polyaniline and metallurgical silicon powder were prepared by an in situ two-step procedure (pSi-PANI). Their structures were elucidated by electronic and infrared spectroscopy and powder X-ray diffraction (P-XRD) techniques. The P-XRD revealed that the acid-doped green composites (pSi-PANI·HCl and pSi-PANI·HF) acquire a two-dimensional crystalline array structure featuring nanosheet morphology. The photoconductivity and photovoltaic (PV) properties of these composites were examined as flexible microscopic films of finely dispersed composites in a dry linseed oil matrix sandwiched between two aluminium electrodes, [Alperforated/pSi-PANI/Alplate]. The hybrid composites display a thermal voltage in the dark but develop a photocurrent under weak illumination (incandescent lamp, 75.4 µW cm–2). These green composites exhibit enhanced power conversion efficiency (Jsc = 16.7–34.0 μA cm–2, Voc = 0.86–1.21 V, η = 5.2%–11.4%) compared with their undoped blue analogs (Jsc = 1.3–6.1 μA cm–2, Voc = 0.18–1.02 V, η = 0.1%–2.1%). The pSi-PANI·HCl composite is a promising candidate for the development of a low-cost, easily processed, flexible PV system that can be scaled up for large-area indoor applications. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry