Enhanced uniformity and area scaling in carbon nanotube-fullerene bulk-heterojunction solar cells enabled by solvent additives

Tejas A. Shastry, Sarah C. Clark, Andrew J.E. Rowberg, Kyle A. Luck, Kan Sheng Chen, Tobin Jay Marks, Mark Hersam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) fullerene solar cells have recently attracted attention due to their low-cost processing, high environmental stability, and near-infrared absorption. While SWCNT-fullerene bulk-heterojunction photovoltaics employing an inverted architecture and polychiral SWCNTs have achieved efficiencies exceeding 3% over device areas of ≈1 mm2, large-area SWCNT solar cells have not yet been demonstrated. In particular, with increasing device area, spatial inhomogeneities in the SWCNT film have limited overall device performance. Here, 1,8-diiodooctane (DIO) is utilized as a solvent additive to reduce fullerene domain size and to improve SWCNT-fullerene bulk-heterojunction morphology. Under optimized conditions, DIO elucidates the influence of SWCNT chiral distribution on overall device performance, revealing a tradeoff between short-circuit current density and fill factor as a function of the chirality distribution present. The combination of SWCNT chirality distribution engineering and improved spatial homogeneity via solvent additives enables area-scaling of SWCNT-fullerene solar cells with performance comparable to small-area cells. Solvent additives enable large-area carbon nanotube solar cells by reducing spatial inhomogeneities within the carbon nanotube-fullerene active layer. These additives also reveal the impact of carbon nanotube chiral distribution on performance and enable the fabrication of large-area carbon nanotube solar cells with power conversion efficiencies comparable to small-area cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1501466
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • PCBM
  • Single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT)
  • diiodooctane
  • electrostatic force microscopy
  • morphology
  • solar cell efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)


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