Sputtered ZnO seed layer enhances photovoltaic behavior in hybrid ZnO/P3HT solar cells

Luisa Whittaker-Brooks, Jeffrey M. Mativetsky, Arthur Woll, Detlef Smilgies, Yueh Lin Loo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We investigated the characteristics of inverted solar cells comprising bulk-heterojunction active layers of ZnO nanowire arrays and poly(3-hexylthiophene), P3HT. By utilizing a sputtered ZnO seed layer, we are able to grow vertically oriented ZnO nanowire arrays homoepitaxially. Unlike the ZnO nanowires that are grown on sol-gel derived seed layers, our nanowires are more uniform in their dimensions and spatial distribution. This sputtered seed layer also acts as the hole-blocking layer when these nanowire arrays are incorporated in solar cells; hybrid solar cells comprising these nanowires and P3HT exhibit power conversion efficiencies of 1.6%. To date, this is the highest efficiency observed for ZnO nanowire arrays:P3HT hybrid solar cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3477-3483
Number of pages7
JournalOrganic Electronics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Hybrid solar cells
  • Sputtered seed layer
  • Uniform nanowire growth
  • ZnO nanowire arrays


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