I studied at the University of Warwick from 2008-2012 to gain a Master’s Degree in Chemistry which included undertaking a project in the Hatton group using ultra-flat gold films as model electrodes in organic photovoltaics (OPVs). After this great experience I decided I would like to continue working on the development of OPVs and so started a PhD with the group.
My PhD (2012-2016) consisted of the research and modification of electrodes and their interfaces in top-illuminated OPVs whereby the light enters through the top electrode and not, as is conventional in OPVs, through the underlying substrate. These add a further degree of adaptability into OPVs as it allows for substrates that are flexible, robust, cheap, and lightweight, whilst not necessarily being transparent, which makes their integration into buildings and transport a lot more accessible and economically viable.
Some of the projects I worked on included:
• The development of an AlCuAl layered structure for use as a reflective electrode in top-illuminated OPVs. This electrode is suggested as an alternative to Al or Ag as it offers the rare combination of high reflectivity, a very low work function of 3.2 eV, and a high stability towards oxidation.
• Analysis of the modification of the vacuum level shift at the AlCuAl | organic semiconductor interface through the kelvin probe technique and the effect this has on the performance of state-of-the-art photovoltaics.
• Modelling of optical properties of micro-cavities and dielectric-metal-dielectric structures in photovoltaics and the implementation and testing of these in thin films and devices.
• The research and development of a solution processable organo-molybdenum oxide hybrid thin film. This could be used as both a hole transport layer and a seed layer for the evaporation of highly transparent (>80%) and highly conductive (<10 ohm sq-1) thin silver electrodes.
• The fabrication of a model nano-structured reflective electrode by a scale-up amenable method. This was designed to investigate the extent to which absorption of light can be enhanced in a top-illuminated OPVs by texturing the reflective substrate electrode.
1. An electrode design rule for high performance top-illuminated organic photovoltaics, M. S. Tyler, I. M. Nadeed, R. A. Hatton*, Materials Horizons, 3, 348-354, (2016). DOI:10.1039/C6MH00124F (open access)
2. High performance silver window electrodes for top-illuminated organic photovolatics using an organo-molybdenum oxide bronze interlayer, M. S. Tyler, M. Walker, R. A. Hatton*, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 8, 12316-12323, (2016). DOI:10.1021/acsami.6b02647 (open access)
3. A Silver-Free, Reflective Substrate Electrode for ElectronExtraction in Top-Illuminated Organic Photovoltaics, M. S. Tyler, O. S. Hutter, M. Walker and R. A. Hatton*, ChemPhysChem, 16, 1203-1209, (2015), 1203 –1209. DOI: 10.1002/cphc.201402880