Improving the performance of P3HT/PCBM solar cells with squaraine dye

Jing Shun Huang, Tenghooi Goh, Xiaokai Li, Matthew Y. Sfeir, Elizabeth A. Bielinski, Stephanie Tomasulo, Minjoo L. Lee, Nilay Hazari, André D. Taylor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Expanding the spectral absorption breadth and efficiently harvesting excitons are crucial towards creating highly efficient polymer solar cells. Here we describe a strategy to realize broad-band light harvesting in poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT)-based solar cells. We introduce the use of squaraine dye molecules that play a dual role towards improving P3HT-based solar cells. The first benefit is an increase in the spectral absorption in the near infrared region. The second advantage is the collection of excitons close to the interfacial heterojunctions via Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). Unlike traditional multi-blend systems, where each donor works independently in separate spectral responses, FRET-based systems enable the effective use of multiple donors with significant improvements in light absorption and conversion. Ultrafast transient absorption experiments show that the excitation energy from P3HT can be transferred rapidly (within a few picoseconds) and efficiently (up to 96%) to the squaraine via FRET. As a result, the overall power conversion efficiency is improved. This architecture opens up a new paradigm towards transformative improvements of polymer solar cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOrganic Photovoltaics XIV
StatePublished - 2013
EventOrganic Photovoltaics XIV - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 27 2013Aug 29 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherOrganic Photovoltaics XIV
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • P3HT
  • Resonance energy transfer
  • Solar cells
  • Squaraine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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