Researchers develop a simple processing technique that could cut the cost of organic photovoltaics and wearable electronics
With a new technique for manufacturing single-layer organic polymer solar cells, scientists at UC Santa Barbara and three other universities might very well move organic photovoltaics into a whole new generation of wearable devices and enable small-scale distributed power generation.
The simple doping solution-based process involves briefly immersing organic semiconductor films in a solution at room temperature. This technique, which could replace a more complex approach that requires vacuum processing, has the potential to affect many device platforms, including organic printed electronics, sensors, photodetectors and light-emitting diodes. The researchers’ findings appear in the journal Nature Materials.
“Because the new process is simple to use, general in terms of applicability and should be configurable into mass productions, it has the potential to greatly accelerate the widespread implementation of plastic electronics, of which solar cells are one example,” said co-author Guillermo Bazan, director of UCSB’s Center for Polymers and Organic Solids. “One can see impacts in technologies ranging from light-emitting devices to transistors to transparent solar cells that can be incorporated into building design or greenhouses.”
Studied in many academic and industrial laboratories for two decades, organic solar cells have experienced a continuous and steady improvement in their power conversion efficiency with laboratory values reaching 13 percent compared to around 20 percent for commercial silicon-based cells. Though polymer-based cells are currently less efficient, they require less energy to produce than silicon cells and can be more easily recycled at the end of their lifetimes.
This new method, which provides a way of inducing p-type electrical doping in organic semiconductor films, offers a simpler alternative to the air-sensitive molybdenum oxide layers used in the most efficient polymer solar cells. Thin films of organic semiconductors and their blends are immersed in polyoxometalate solutions in nitromethane for a brief time — on the order of minutes. The geometry of these new devices is unique as the functions of hole and electron collection are built into the light-absorbing active layer, resulting in the simplest single-layer geometry with few interfaces.
“High-performing organic solar cells require a multiple layer device structure,” said co-author Thuc-Quyen Nguyen, a professor in UCSB’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “The realization of single-layer photovoltaics with our approach will simplify the device fabrication process and therefore should reduce the cost. The initial lifetime testing of these single layer devices is promising. This exciting development will help transform organic photovoltaics into a commercial technology.”
Organic solar cells are unique within the context of providing transparent, flexible and easy-to-fabricate energy-producing devices. These could result in a host of novel applications, such as energy-harvesting windows and films that enable zero-cost farming by creating greenhouses that support crops and produce energy at the same time.
Learn more: Solar Cell Game Changer
Receive an email update when we add a new ORGANIC SOLAR CELL article.
The Latest on: Organic photovoltaics
via Google News
The Latest on: Organic photovoltaics
- Global Flexible Organic Photovoltaic Cell Market to 2025 : Key Players Analysis and Market Outlook on February 4, 2019 at 10:58 pm
Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/04/2019 -- This report presents the worldwide Flexible Organic Photovoltaic Cell market size (value, production and consumption), splits the breakdown (data status 2013-20... […]
- Enabling low voltage losses and high photocurrent in fullerene-free organic photovoltaics on February 4, 2019 at 2:41 am
Despite significant development recently, improving the power conversion efficiency of organic photovoltaics (OPVs) is still an ongoing challenge to overcome. One of the prerequisites to achieving thi... […]
- System Bits: Jan. 29 on January 30, 2019 at 10:21 am
along with photovoltaic solar cells, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology report. Physical chemists worked with halide organic-inorganic perovskite (HOIP), which combines a crystal latti... […]
- Organic electronics could enable energy recovery from consumer electronics’ waste heat on January 28, 2019 at 3:06 am
his group is studying applications for the technology including electrically conducting textiles and organic solar cells. In the picture, the solar cell that can be seen was supplied by photovoltaic s... […]
- PFGHL Launches Photovoltaic Power Station Project to Promote Sustainable Development of Garment and Textile Industry on January 24, 2019 at 11:25 pm
Photovoltaic panels are installed in production ... independently producing organic silk raw materials by controlling quality from the source, and constantly improving the whole industry supply ... […]
- Next-Gen Semi Materials Could Be a Boost for Photovoltaics, Lighting on January 17, 2019 at 5:02 am
In between is the organic layer that contributes to the overall flexibility ... Lighting with HOIPs could require very little energy, helping photovoltaic solar panel makers boost efficiency and reduc... […]
- Global Flexible Organic Photovoltaic Cell Industry Analysis, Size, Market share, Growth, Trend and Forecast to 2025 on January 2, 2019 at 4:00 pm
(EMAILWIRE.COM, January 03, 2019 ) Global Flexible Organic Photovoltaic Cell Market report is replete with detailed analysis from a thorough research, especially on questions that border on market siz... […]
- Organic Photovoltaics Nearing Mass Production on December 3, 2018 at 4:00 pm
Organic photovoltaics (OPV) is an innovative solar cell technology based on conductive plastic materials such as polymers. Such devices are fabricated by ultra low-cost, roll-to-roll printing techniqu... […]
- Researchers Develop Flexible Organic Solar Cells on November 21, 2018 at 5:38 am
A team of scientists from Rice University, Houston Community College and Brookhaven National Laboratory has developed flexible organic photovoltaics that could be useful where constant, low-power gene... […]
via Bing News