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
- OPVIUS Introduces Novel, Cost-Efficient Acceptor Material from Nano-C in OPV Mass Production on April 12, 2019 at 7:18 am
Nano-C is a well-respected manufacturer of fullerenes and fullerene derivatives which, due to their unique properties, meet the needs and requirements of organic photovoltaics (OPV). Working together, ... […]
- Solar Energy Markets: A BCC Research Outlook on April 10, 2019 at 3:09 pm
utm_source=PRN Additionally, included are a review of the different technologies from second generation and third generation solar technologies such as Organic Photovoltaics (OPVs)/Plastic Solar ... […]
- Dye chemistry transferred to modern times on April 4, 2019 at 7:31 am
They consist of complex, so-called supramolecular structures, which are able to absorb the energy of sunlight and use it for artificial photosynthesis or organic photovoltaics. So far, the Adolf von ... […]
- Heliatek Integrated Organic Photovoltaic Project Installed in France on April 1, 2019 at 5:00 pm
The world's largest building integrated organic photovoltaic (BIOPV) installation has been completed in France using Heliatek GmbHs’s HeliaSol solar film solution. BIOPV roof installation in La ... […]
- Fullerenes bridge conductive gap in organic photovoltaics: Efficient cathode interlayers made of ionene polymers refined with pendant fullerenes on March 29, 2019 at 10:25 pm
In contrast to common silicon-based solar cells, organic photovoltaics (OPVs) involve organic molecules in solar power generation. Materials in OPVs are abundant and processable, cheap and lightweight ... […]
- Fullerenes bridge conductive gap in organic photovoltaics on March 27, 2019 at 7:45 am
Organic photovoltaics have achieved remarkably high efficiencies, but finding optimum combinations of materials for high-performance organic solar cells, which are also economically competitive, still ... […]
- India- Photovoltaic Materials Market Size To Expand at a Notable CAGR Of 8% During 2016 - 2022 on March 20, 2019 at 6:05 am
Photovoltaic materials are gaining huge prominence owing to the growing manufacturing of solar modules. With the accelerating popularity of organic photovoltaic and dye-sensitized solar cells, the ... […]
via Bing News