Michael Patullo


In an attempt to develop an advanced thin film solar cell high-conductive grade polyaniline (PANI) and poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) was dipcoated onto pulsed laser deposited (PLD) cadmium sulfide (CdS)/cadmium telluride (CdTe) semiconductor substrates. In previous studies, we have determined that applying these particular polymers and compounds on indium tin oxide (ITO) coated glass improves the photovoltaic conversion efficiency due to a reduction of the Schottky barrier resistance. In this study, we focus on optimizing the application of PANI and PEDOT:PSS by experimenting with dip-coating procedures and the solutions from which they are applied. An additional treatment of cadmium chloride that is traditionally highly regarded for increasing photovoltaic efficiencies was also applied to the surface of each cell. The thin films were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and ellipsometry techniques to verify and evaluate the successful application of their constituent materials. Electrical conductivity tests were also performed using a Keithley SourceMeter to determine photovoltaic efficiencies. Synthesis techniques, as well as structure, characterization, and efficiency results are discussed. It is also worth noting that the primary objective of this research was to produce the highest increase in solar cell efficiency possible, and not necessarily a solar cell with an impressive efficiency in of itself. Future research will involve additional SEM and EDX analysis to optimize the layers of each cell and help determine the homogeneity and elemental consistency of the polymer surface.