• Integrating Copper Nanowire Electrodes for Low Temperature Perovskite Photovoltaic Cells

      Mansuripur, Masud; Mankowski, Trent; Mansuripur, Masud; Falco, Charles; Norwood, Robert (The University of Arizona., 2017)
      Recent advances in third generation photovoltaics, particularly the rapid increase in perovskite power conversion efficiencies, may provide a cheap alternative to silicon solar cells in the near future. A key component to these devices is the transparent front electrode, and in the case of Dye Sensitized Solar Cells, it is the most expensive part. A lightweight, cost-effective, robust, and easy-to-fabricate new generation TCE is required to enable competition with silicon. Indium Tin Oxide, commonly used in touchscreen devices, Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs), and thin film photovoltaics, is widely used and commonly referred to as the industry standard. As the global supply of indium decreases and the demand for this TCE increases, a similar alternative TCE is required to accompany the next generation solar cells that promise energy with lighter and significantly cheaper modules. This alternative TCE needs to provide similar sheet resistance and optical transmittance to ITO, while also being mechanically and chemically robust. The work in this thesis begins with an exploration of several synthesized ITO replacement materials, such as copper nanowires, conductive polymer PEDOT:PSS, zinc oxide thin films, reduced graphene oxide and combinations of the above. A guiding philosophy to this work was prioritizing cheap, easy deposition methods and overall scalability. Shortcomings of these TCEs were investigated and different materials were hybridized to take advantage of each layers strengths for development of an ideal ITO replacement. For CuNW-based composite electrodes, ~85% optical transmittance and ~25 Ω/sq were observed and characterized to understand the underlying mechanisms for optimization. The second half of this work is an examination of many different perovskite synthesis methods first to achieve highest performance, and then to integrate compatible methods with our CuNW TCEs. Several literature methods investigated were irreproducible, and those that were successful posed difficulties integrating with CuNW-based TCEs. Those shortcomings are discussed, and how future work might skirt the issues revealed here to produce a very low cost, high performance perovskite solar cell.