Flexible all-carbon photovoltaics with improved thermal stability

Chun Tang, Hidetaka Ishihara, Jaskiranjeet Sodhi, Yen Chang Chen, Andrew Siordia, Ashlie Martini, Vincent C. Tung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The structurally robust nature of nanocarbon allotropes, e.g., semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and C60s, makes them tantalizing candidates for thermally stable and mechanically flexible photovoltaic applications. However, C60s rapidly dissociate away from the basal of SWCNTs under thermal stimuli as a result of weak intermolecular forces that "lock up" the binary assemblies. Here, we explore use of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) as geometrically tailored protecting layers to suppress the unwanted dissociation of C60s. The underlying mechanisms are explained using a combination of molecular dynamics simulations and transition state theory, revealing the temperature dependent disassociation of C60s from the SWCNT basal plane. Our strategy provides fundamental guidelines for integrating all-carbon based nano-p/n junctions with optimized structural and thermal stability. External quantum efficiency and output current-voltage characteristics are used to experimentally quantify the effectiveness of GNR membranes under high temperature annealing. Further, the resulting C60:SWCNT:GNR ternary composites display excellent mechanical stability, even after iterative bending tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-101
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Solid State Chemistry
StatePublished - Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Flexible photovoltaics
  • Graphene nanoribbons
  • Nanocarbon p/n junctions
  • Thermal stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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