Semiconducting Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Solar Energy Harvesting

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Abstract

Semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (s-SWCNTs) represent a tunable model one-dimensional system with exceptional optical and electronic properties. High-throughput separation and purification strategies have enabled the integration of s-SWCNTs into a number of optoelectronic applications, including photovoltaics (PVs). In this Perspective, we discuss the fundamental underpinnings of two model PV interfaces involving s-SWCNTs. We first discuss s-SWCNT-fullerene heterojunctions where exciton dissociation at the donor-acceptor interface drives solar energy conversion. Next, we discuss charge extraction at the interface between s-SWCNTs and a photoexcited perovskite active layer. In each case, the use of highly enriched semiconducting SWCNT samples enables fundamental insights into the thermodynamic and kinetic mechanisms that drive the efficient conversion of solar photons into long-lived separated charges. These model systems help to establish design rules for next-generation PV devices containing well-defined organic semiconductor layers and help to frame a number of important outstanding questions that can guide future studies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1598-1613
Number of pages16
JournalACS Energy Letters
Volume2
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-68250

Keywords

  • carbon nanotubes
  • charge separation
  • photovoltaic
  • solar
  • solar-photochemistry

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