Emerging Plasmon-Optical and -Electrical Effects in Organic Solar Cells: A Combined Theoretical and Experimental Study

  • Xingang RenEmail author
  • Xuanhua Li
  • Zhixiang Huang
  • Xiangliang Wu
Part of the Reviews in Plasmonics book series (RIP, volume 2017)


The imbalance of the optical photon absorption length and electrical exciton diffusion length in organic materials has set an upper limit of the active layer thickness around two hundred nanometers, resulting in the insufficient photon absorption of organic solar cells (OSCs). The high-efficiency OSCs need to address the above issues, and it is vital to introduce light manipulations for enhancing the optical photon absorption of the active layer (~200 nm), which is electrically thick but optically thin. The plasmonic effects of metal nanostructures facilitating the strong light-matter interactions have emerged as a promising tool for enhancing the light absorption of active layer due to its capability of amplifying the light intensity up to ten even hundred times in the subwavelength region. In this Chapter, we will briefly review the mechanisms of two types surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) and their applications in enhancing the OSC efficiency. Regarding the narrow band feature of metal plasmonic resonances, we offer the design rules toward the wideband plasmonic resonances. The plasmon-optical effects with multiple plasmonic resonances are used to enhance the active layer absorption in whole visible region. Besides the plasmon-optical effects, the plasmon-electrical effects of the metal nanostructures, which are emerging as the interestingly hot topics, will be studied. Finally, the simultaneously plasmon-optical and -electrical effects induced by plasmonic asymmetric modes will be introduced and realized in single OSC device for boosting its performance. This Chapter devotes to provide an in-depth understanding of utilizing the plasmon-optical and -electrical effects for high-performance OSCs.


Solar cells Metal nanostructure Plasmon-optical effect Plasmon-electrical effect 



This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61701003, 61471001, 51571166, and 61505167), Anhui Province (No. 1808085QF179), Open Fund for Discipline construction, Institute of Physical Science and Information Technology, Anhui University, the Guangdong Science and Technology Program (2017B030314002), and open fund of Key Laboratory of Nanodevices and Applications, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Natural Science Foundation of the Anhui Higher Education Institutions of China (Grant No. KJ2017ZD02) and the Natural Science Research Project of Shaanxi Province (Grant No. 2016JM5001). This research is also supported by the Student Scholarship of the University of Hong Kong and the Introduction Project of High-Level Talent in Anhui University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xingang Ren
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xuanhua Li
    • 3
  • Zhixiang Huang
    • 1
  • Xiangliang Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Intelligent Computing and Signal ProcessingMinistry of Education, Anhui UniversityHefeiPR China
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Electronic EngineeringThe University of Hong KongPok Fu LamHong Kong
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Solidification Processing, Center of Nano Energy Materials, School of Materials Science and EngineeringNorthwestern Polytechnical UniversityXi’anPR China

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