Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

First Advisor

Qiquao Qiao


PEDOT:PSS, perovskite, silver nanowires, solar cells, stability, transparent electrode


Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), such as semitransparent organic solar cells (OSC) for power generating windows, is a promising method for implementing renewable energy under the looming threat of depleting fossil fuels. OSC require a solution processed transparent electrode to be cost effective; but typically employ a nonsolution processed indium tin oxide (ITO) transparent electrode. PEDOT:PSS and silver nanowire transparent electrodes have emerged as a promising alternative to ITO and are solution processed compatible. However, PEDOT:PSS requires a strong acid treatment, which is incompatible with high throughput solution processed fabrication techniques. Silver nanowires suffer from a short lifetime when subject to electrical stress. The goals of this work were to fabricate a PEDOT:PSS electrodes without using strong acids, a silver nanowire electrode with a lifetime that can exceed 6000 hours of constant electrical stress, and use these two electrodes to fabricate a semitransparent OSC. Exploring optimal solvent blend additives in conjunction with solvent bend post treatments for PEDOT:PSS electrodes could provide an acid free method that results in comparable sheet resistance and transmittance of ITO electrodes. Silver nanowires fail under electrical stress due to sulfur corrosion and Joule heating (which melts and breaks apart electrical contact). A silver oxide layer coating the nanowires could hinder sulfur corrosion and help redistribute heat. Moreover, nanowires with thicker diameters could also exhibit higher heat tolerance and take longer to corrode. Four layer PEDOT:PSS electrodes with optimal solvent blend additives and post treatments were fabricated by spin coating. Silver nanowire electrodes of varying nanowire diameter with and without UV-ozone treatment were fabricated by spray coating and subject to electrical stress of 20 mA/cm2 constant current density. PEDOT:PSS electrodes exhibited a sheet resistance of 80 Ω/□ and average transmittance of 73%, which were too high and too low, respectively. Silver nanowire electrodes, on the other hand, were able to achieve sheet resistances below 50 Ω/□ while maintaining a direct transmittance above 80%. Silver nanowires electrodes with average nanowire diameters of 80 nm lasted 2 days longer with UV-ozone treatment than without; and silver nanowire electrodes with average nanowire diameters of 233 nm lasted for 6,312 hours, which met the 6000 hour goal. PEDOT:PSS transparent electrode needs to be improved where the sheet resistance is below 50 Ω/□ and transmittance above 80%. This could be achieved by adding silver nanoparticles (SNP) less than 40 nm in size, which would also have a plasmonic effect enabling the solar cell to absorb ultraviolet light. Then a fully solution processed semitransparent solar cell utilizing a PEDOT:PSS:SNP and silver nanowire transparent electrodes can be fabricated.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Solar energy

Solar cells



Thin films


Includes bibliographical references (pages 138-155)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2016 Bjorn Vaagensmith