Sustainable Organic Polymer Solar Cells Using TiO2 Derived From Automobile Paint Sludge
We demonstrate green synthesis of TiO2 nanoparticles (Nps) derived from automobile paint sludge (APG) and its application in the development of sustainable and solution processable polymer solar cells (PSCs). The APG contains TiO2 > 35 % of its weight with several surfactants, organic polymers and ~ 2 to 10 % inorganic matter depending on the type of paints used. The TiO2 is generally present as micro sized particles in the APG which on hydrothermal treatment transform into nano sized particles. These organic matter is thermally extracted by a specially designed reaction vessel, where as the inorganic impurities are removed by repeated washing with dilute acids and bases. The TiO2 Nps are characterized by SEM imaging, EDX analysis, powder XRD, TG/DTA and FTIR, spectroscopy techniques. The TiO2 Nps are re-suspended in methanol for application in PSCs as an efficient electron transport layer. The TiO2 layer was spin coated on bulk hetero junction active layer of low band gap donor polymers P3HT with PCBM as electron acceptor. The performance of the TiO2 Nps is analyzed by fabricating devices in ITO/PEDOT:PSS/active layer/TiO2/Al configuration. The present work has implication for ultra low cost and sustainable PSCs with advantage of recycling of a highly hazardous industrial waste.
KeywordsTiO2 nanoparticles Paint Sludge Solar cell; Hydrothermal; P3HT; Green chemistry
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The authors thank the director, NPL, for his kind support in this R & D work. Author Mr. Vishal Bharti is thankful to University Grant Commission (UGC), Government of India for proving senior research fellowship (SRF) and Mr. Dibyajyoti Mohanty is thankful to CSIR for PGRPE fellowship. Authors are also thankful to DST, Govt. of India, for providing financial support under the India-UK joint initiative project entitled “Advancing the efficiency and production potential of excitonic solar cells (APEX)”.
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