Cellulose acetate fibers covered by CdS nanoparticles for hybrid solar cell applications

Hugo Cortina, Claudia Martínez-Alonso, Mónica Castillo-Ortega, Hailin Hu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


In this work cellulose acetate (CA) fibers with a diameter of approximately 1 μm were immersed in a cadmium sulfide (CdS) precursor solution. After 3 h the original white color CA fibers became yellow and maintained the same form, suggesting the deposition of CdS on fiber surface. SEM images showed that CA fibers were covered by uniformly sized CdS nanoparticles of approximately 100 nm. XRD and optical absorption spectra indicated that they contained mostly cubic crystalline phase with the optical band gap of 2.43 eV. CdS coated CA fibers, called CdS(CA) fibers, were dispersed in a polar dispersant (dimethyl sulfoxide, DMSO) and then mixed with a poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) solution in a non-polar solvent (dichlorobenzene, DCB). The mixture was cast onto a transparent conductive glass substrate (Indium-Tin-Oxide, ITO), and after solvent evaporation a thin layer of CdS(CA)-P3HT composite was formed. It is observed that the volume relation between the polar dispersant and non-polar solvent influences the solubility of the P3HT product in the composite coating and the photovoltaic performance of the corresponding cell as well. The mass ratio between CdS(CA) fibers and P3HT in the composite layer affects the optical absorption of the composite. The best photovoltaic performance was obtained in CdS(CA)-P3HT based cells with a volume relation between DCB and DMSO of 3.5-1, a mass ratio between CdS(CA) and P3HT of 1:1, and a rapid drying process for composite coatings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1491-1496
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering B: Solid-State Materials for Advanced Technology
Issue number16
StatePublished - 20 Sep 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Dr. P.K. Nair for fruitful discussions and Rogelio Morán for SEM analysis and technician support. HC and CM thank CONACyT-México for the scholarship received during their PhD studies. This work was financed by PAPIIT-UNAM ( IN101110 ) and CONACyT-México ( 79827 and 123122 ).


  • Cadmium sulfide
  • Cellulose acetate
  • Composite coatings
  • Nanoparticles
  • Photovoltaic solar cells
  • Poly(3-hexylthiophene)


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