Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Solar Energy News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SOLAR DAILY
New fabrication technique leads to broader sunlight absorption in plastic solar cells
by Staff Writers
Raleigh NC (SPX) Nov 30, 2016


These are schematics of Sequentially Cast Ternary (SeCaT) solar cell. Image courtesy Peter and Ryan Allen. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new strategy for fabricating more efficient plastic solar cells. The work has implications for developing solar cells with a wider absorption range and increased efficiency. As plastic solar cells now rival silicon-based solar cells in power conversion efficiency, researchers want to increase the range of photonic energies that plastic solar cells absorb. Ternary solar cells, in which three materials are mixed together as a light-harvesting layer, offer a potential solution.

However, while ternary solar cells have been manufactured for years, most of the devices have not been able to meet desired levels of performance - mainly due to unfavorable mixing.

Masoud Ghasemi, a graduate student in physics at NC State and lead author of a paper describing the research, worked with a team of other NC State physicists led by Harald Ade and chemists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill led by Wei You to identify a way to solve the production problem.

The team proposed a calorimetric tool to study the morphology of a ternary system with two absorption-matched donor polymers and a fullerene acceptor. When fabricated by the traditional method - which involves mixing all three materials together and then depositing them onto a substrate - the system gave poor device performance.

"Using thermodynamic techniques, we were able to find that this particular mixture was undergoing 'alloying,' in which the donor polymers tend to group up together and push the fullerene away," Ghasemi says. "This explains why so many conventionally produced ternary cells may have low efficiency."

The team decided to solve the alloying problem by mixing each polymer separately with the fullerene, rather than mixing all three materials together at once. They created two distinct mixtures which were layered onto the substrate, creating sequentially cast ternary (SeCaT) solar cells, which did not fall prey to alloying.

"The SeCaT solar cells prevent the polymers from mixing due to their layered structure," Ghasemi says.

"This novel design allows fabrication of plastic solar cells with wider optical sensitivity using cheap and scalable processing steps and with reduced materials selection constraints. Hopefully this new method can be particularly useful for greenhouse applications toward zero energy farming, as the materials used to demonstrate our method have optical properties compatible to these applications."

Research paper: "Panchromatic Sequentially-Cast Ternary Polymer Solar Cells"


Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
North Carolina State University
All About Solar Energy at SolarDaily.com






Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
SOLAR DAILY
Tesla microgrid powers entire island with solar in American Samoa
Ta'U, American Samoa (UPI) Nov 22, 2016
Self-sufficiency isn't easy on small Pacific islands, but the distant island of Ta'u in American Samoa can now supply nearly all of its inhabitants' power needs using renewable energy. The island now generates and stores nearly 100 percent of its electricity using a large solar panel array, microgrid and batteries installed by SolarCity and Tesla. "It's always sunny out here, and ... read more


SOLAR DAILY
Investing in the 'bioeconomy' could create jobs and reduce carbon emissions

Argonne researchers study how reflectivity of biofuel crops impacts climate

UNIST researchers turn waste gas into road-ready diesel fuel

NextCoal to produce bio-coal for export to Japan, bio-oil for domestic use

SOLAR DAILY
It takes less than a second to tell humans from androids

Designing Agile Human-Machine Teams

Researchers create living bio-hybrid system

New AI algorithm taught by humans learns beyond its training

SOLAR DAILY
Owl-inspired wing design reduces wind turbine noise by 10 decibels

DONG Energy sets wind energy sights on Taiwan

Interior set to rule on future of BLM's Renewable Energy Program

Microsoft Corp. taps deeper into wind power

SOLAR DAILY
Could moving walkways be the key to car-free cities of the future?

Five things to know about VW's 'dieselgate' scandal

How much attention do drivers need to pay

A novel catalyst design opens possibility to hydrogen vehicle

SOLAR DAILY
Physicists spell 'AV' by manipulating Abrikosov vortices

Hydrogen in your pocket? New plastic for carrying and storing hydrogen

Glow-in-the-dark dye could fuel liquid-based batteries

Researchers report new thermoelectric material with high power factors

SOLAR DAILY
Swiss reject speedy nuclear phaseout

'Diamond-age' of power generation as nuclear batteries developed

Nuclear energy: who's advancing and who's retreating

Breakthrough offers greater understanding of safe radioactive waste disposal

SOLAR DAILY
China power plant collapse kills at least 22: Xinhua

Climate: Four nations map course to carbon-free economies

Study: LED lights draw fewer insects

Shifting focus leaves mixed bag for German utility RWE

SOLAR DAILY
Tribal protesters with arrows try to enter Brazil's Congress

Remote Amazon tribe kills illegal gold miners: officials

Large forest die-offs can have effects that ricochet to distant ecosystems

Global boreal forests differ but not immune to climate change




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement