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Photovoltaic effect in single-junction organic solar cell fabricated using vanadyl phthalocyanine soluble derivative

F. Aziz (Department of Electronics, Jinnah College for Women, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan and Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Topi, Pakistan)
Z. Ahmad (Low Dimensional Materials Research Center, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
S.M. Abdullah (Low Dimensional Materials Research Center, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
K. Sulaiman (Low Dimensional Materials Research Center, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, ,Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
M.H. Sayyad (Faculty of Engineering Sciences, Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Topi, Pakistan)

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Article publication date: 5 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the optical and electrical characteristics of a single-junction solar cell based on a green-colour dye vanadyl 2,9,16, 23-tetraphenoxy-29H, 31H-phthalocyanine (VOPcPhO). The use of soluble vanadyl phthalocyanine derivative makes it very attractive for photovoltaic applications due to its tunable properties and high solubility.

Design/methodology/approach

A photoactive layer of VOPcPhO has been sandwiched between indium tin oxide (ITO) and aluminium (Al) electrodes to produce a ITO/PEDOT:PSS/VOPcPhO/Al photovoltaic device. The VOPcPhO thin film is deposited by a simple spin coating technique. To obtain the optimal thickness for the solar cell device, different thicknesses of the photoactive layer, achieved by manipulating the spin rate, have been investigated.

Findings

The device exhibited photovoltaic effect with the values of Jsc, Voc and FF equal to 5.26 × 10-6 A/cm2, 0.621 V and 0.33, respectively. The electronic parameters of the cell have been obtained from the analysis of current-voltage characteristics measured in dark. The values of ideality factor and barrier height were found to be 2.69 and 0.416 eV, respectively. The optical examination showed that the material is sensitive to light in the UV region between 270 nm and 410 nm, as well as in the visible spectrum within the range of 630 nm and 750 nm.

Research limitations/implications

The solar cell based on a single layer of vanadyl phthalocyanine derivative results in low efficiency, which can be enhanced by introducing a variety of donor materials to form bulk heterojunction solar cells.

Practical implications

The spin coating technique provides a simple, less expensive and effective approach for preparing thin films.

Originality/value

A novel thin-film, single-junction organic solar cell, fabricated by using VOPcPhO, has been investigated for the first time ever. The vanadyl phthalocyanine derivative together with a donor material will have potential application for improved efficiency of the solar cells.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia, for providing financial assistance to carry out the research project through Long Term Research Grant Scheme (LRGS) (project no. LR003/2011A). Ms Fakhra Aziz also acknowledges the financial support provided by Higher Education Commission, Pakistan, through “International Research Support Initiative Program” for conducting research at University of Malaya.

Citation

Aziz, F., Ahmad, Z., Abdullah, S.M., Sulaiman, K. and Sayyad, M.H. (2015), "Photovoltaic effect in single-junction organic solar cell fabricated using vanadyl phthalocyanine soluble derivative", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 44 No. 1, pp. 26-32. https://doi.org/10.1108/PRT-01-2014-0006

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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