Multifunctional nanostructured materials for next generation photovoltaics

Congcong Wu, Kai Wang, Munkhbayar Batmunkh, Abdulaziz S.R. Bati, Dong Yang, Yuanyuan Jiang, Yuchen Hou, Joseph G. Shapter, Shashank Priya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Next generation photovoltaics such as dye sensitized solar cells, perovskite solar cells and organic solar cells, generally referred to as the “third-generation photovoltaic technologies”, will have a great impact on the global deployment of photovoltaic technology. Generally, these photovoltaic cells are layered-structure devices, consisting of nanostructured layers with multiple functionalities comprising of charge collection, extraction and photoconversion. Nanostructured layers including anode/cathode buffer layers, interfacial modification layers, and photon active layers are synthesized by various physical and chemical deposition techniques, which are discussed in this paper. Due to multiple coupling effects in these nanostructured materials as discussed here, the layered cells have great potential for enhanced photovoltaic efficiency. Advanced nanotechnology fabrication approaches have accelerated the design and development of novel nanostructured materials, which is driving the advancements in solar cell performance. The nanomaterials and nanostructures critically impact the optical and electronic properties of the functional layers by modulating their morphology, microstructure, and surface states; thereby influencing the output voltage and conversion efficiency. In this review, we provide a detailed discussion on recent developments in nanostructured materials and illustrate the designs for their integration with “third-generation photovoltaic technologies”. A comprehensive discussion is provided on the role of nanostructures, functionalities, and effectiveness of various nanomaterials in improving the performance of dye sensitized solar cells, perovskite solar cells and organic solar cells. Throughout the review, discussions are included on addressing the remaining challenges and research opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104480
JournalNano Energy
StatePublished - Apr 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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