Continuous, Highly Flexible, and Transparent Graphene Films by Chemical Vapor Deposition for Organic Photovoltaics

Lewis Gomez De Arco, Yi Zhang, Cody W. Schlenker, Koungmin Ryu, Mark E. Thompson, Chongwu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1116 Scopus citations


We report the implementation of continuous, highly flexible, and transparent graphene films obtained by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) as transparent conductive electrodes (TCE) in organic photovoltaic cells. Graphene films were synthesized by CVD, transferred to transparent substrates, and evaluated in organic solar cell heterojunctions (TCE/poly-3,4- ethylenedioxythiophene:poly styrenesulfonate (PEDOT:PSS)/copper phthalocyanine/fullerene/bathocuproine/aluminum). Key to our success is the continuous nature of the CVD graphene films, which led to minimal surface roughness (∼ 0.9 nm) and offered sheet resistance down to 230 Ω/sq (at 72% transparency), much lower than stacked graphene flakes at similar transparency. In addition, solar cells with CVD graphene and indium tin oxide (ITO) electrodes were fabricated side-by-side on flexible polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrates and were confirmed to offer comparable performance, with power conversion efficiencies (η) of 1.18 and 1.27%, respectively. Furthermore, CVD graphene solar cells demonstrated outstanding capability to operate under bending conditions up to 138°, whereas the ITO-based devices displayed cracks and irreversible failure under bending of 60°. Our work indicates the great potential of CVD graphene films for flexible photovoltaic applications. © 2010 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2865-2873
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 15 2010
Externally publishedYes


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