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
- Matthew Stone, NextGen Nano: Using OPV to Power Skyscraperson November 27, 2020 at 6:12 pm
Using OPVs to Power Skyscrapers Shaping the skylines of cities all over the world, skyscrapers are not only aesthetically beautiful, but provide vital floorspace for offices and inner-city homes.
- Carbon nanotubes in search of a solar nicheon November 24, 2020 at 8:36 am
A group of German scientists has analyzed the possible trajectory of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in photovoltaic research and industry and has suggested a roadmap to bring this technology closer to mass ...
- Organic Technology New Paradigm for Poweron November 18, 2020 at 3:24 pm
GO-OPV, LLC on Nov. 17 announced its ORENgE organic technology will be used in a 120,000-square ... of a growing segment of power generation that includes building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), ...
- AI model for accurate prediction of organic PV efficiencyon November 17, 2020 at 10:31 pm
Nastaran Meftahi has been spending her time in pandemic lockdown developing a machine-learning model to predict the future of next-generation organic solar cells.
- Lightweight, efficient organic solar panels available in U.S. to power truckingon November 17, 2020 at 8:12 am
OPV has launched sustainable ORENgE photovoltaic film in North America, which can be applied to trailer tops for additional power generation.
- Turning heat into power with efficient organic thermoelectric materialon November 11, 2020 at 11:14 am
Nevertheless, over a decade of experience in developing organic photovoltaic materials at the University of Groningen has led the team on a path to a better organic thermoelectric material.
- Organic Photovoltaics Market Revenue, Production, Tremendous Growth and Gross Margin With CAGR 12% | Armor SA, BELECTRIC Solar & Battery GmbHon November 8, 2020 at 8:57 pm
Nov 09, 2020 (WiredRelease via Comtex) -- A consciously conceived and designed business intelligence report titled Global Organic Photovoltaics market 2020 by Manufacturers, Type, and Application ...
- Large-area flexible organic photodiodes can compete with silicon deviceson November 5, 2020 at 11:05 am
The organic photodiodes use polyethylenimine, an amine-containing polymer surface modifier found to produce air-stable, low work-function electrodes in photovoltaic devices developed in the ...
- Large-area Flexible Organic Photodiodes Can Compete With Silicon Deviceson November 4, 2020 at 4:00 pm
The organic photodiodes use polyethylenimine, an amine-containing polymer surface modifier found to produce air-stable, low work-function electrodes in photovoltaic devices developed in the laboratory ...
via Bing News