Interface Engineering of Graphene for Nanowire Growth


  • Optoelectronic devices and solar cells

Problem Addressed

Obtaining an effective interface between nanowires and graphene while maintaining the advantages of each component is a challenge in the development of flexible optoelectronic devices using these materials.


This invention encompasses a nondestructive and substrate-independent  method for growing high-quality ZnO nanowires on graphene and graphene cathode-based hybrid solar cells using two different photoactive materials, PbS quantum dots and the conjugated polymer P3HT. Highly uniform, well-aligned ZnO nanowire arrays are grown on graphene via a hydrothermal method. This growth is enabled by a simple interfacial polymer treatment that facilitates conformal, smooth wetting of the ZnO seed layer and subsequent ordered nanowire growth.

Graphene cathode-based hybrid solar cells can be fabricated using PbS quantum dots and P3HT as p-type hole-transporting donor materials and the ZnO nanowires as electron-transporting channels to the cathode. The as-grown graphene/ZnO nanowire structure is well-suited for an inverted device geometry, which offers improved stability over conventional ITO anode-based geometries.


  • Nanowire growth method preserves unique properties of graphene
  • Graphene cathode-based cells hybrid solar cells efficiencies can approach similar performance of ITO-based with similar architectures