Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Solar Energy News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SOLAR DAILY
Simple processing technique could cut cost of organic PV and wearable electronics
by Staff Writers
Atlanta GA (SPX) Dec 06, 2016


Graduate student Vladimir Kolesov, lead author of the paper, holding an electrically-doped polymer film. Image courtesy Christopher Moore, Georgia Tech. For a larger version of this image please go here.

A simple solution-based electrical doping technique could help reduce the cost of polymer solar cells and organic electronic devices, potentially expanding the applications for these technologies. By enabling production of efficient single-layer solar cells, the new process could help move organic photovoltaics into a new generation of wearable devices and enable small-scale distributed power generation.

Developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and colleagues from three other institutions, the technique provides a new way of inducing p-type electrical doping in organic semiconductor films. The process involves briefly immersing the films in a solution at room temperature, and would replace a more complex technique that requires vacuum processing.

"Our hope is that this will be a game-changer for organic photovoltaics by further simplifying the process for fabricating polymer-based solar cells," said Bernard Kippelen, director of Georgia Tech's Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics and a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "We believe this technique is likely to impact many other device platforms in areas such as organic printed electronics, sensors, photodetectors and light-emitting diodes."

Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, the work was reported December 5 in the journal Nature Materials. The research also involved scientists from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Kyushu University in Japan, and the Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands.

The technique consists of immersing thin films of organic semiconductors and their blends in polyoxometalate (PMA and PTA) solutions in nitromethane for a brief time - on the order of minutes. The diffusion of the dopant molecules into the films during immersion leads to efficient p-type electrical doping over a limited depth of 10 to 20 nanometers from the surface of the film. The p-doped regions show increased electrical conductivity and high work function, reduced solubility in the processing solvent, and improved photo-oxidation stability in air.

This new method provides a simpler alternative to air-sensitive molybdenum oxide layers used in the most efficient polymer solar cells that are generally processed using expensive vacuum equipment. When applied to polymer solar cells, the new doping method provided efficient hole collection.

For the first time, single-layer polymer solar cells were demonstrated by combining this new method with spontaneous vertical phase separation of amine-containing polymers that leads to efficient electron collection at the opposing electrode. 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.

"The realization of single-layer photovoltaics with our approach enables both electrodes in the device to be made out of low-cost conductive materials," said Canek Fuentes-Hernandez, a senior research scientist in Kippelen's research group.

"This offers a dramatic simplification of a device geometry, and it improves the photo-oxidation stability of the donor polymer. Although lifetime and cost analysis studies are needed to assess the full impact of these innovations, they are certainly very exciting developments on the road to transform organic photovoltaics into a commercial technology."

By simplifying the production of organic solar cells, the new processing technique could allow fabrication of solar cells in areas of Africa and Latin America that lack capital-intensive manufacturing capabilities, said Felipe Larrain, a Ph.D. student in Kippelen's lab.

"Our goal is to further simplify the fabrication of organic solar cells to the point at which every material required to fabricate them may be included in a single kit that is offered to the public," Larrain said. "The solar cell product may be different if you are able to provide people with a solution that would allow them to make their own solar cells. It could one day enable people to power themselves and be independent of the grid."

Organic solar cells have been studied in many academic and industrial laboratories for several decades, and 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 lifetime.

"Being able to process solar cells entirely at room temperature using this simple solution-based technique could pave the way for a scalable and vacuum-free method of device fabrication, while significantly reducing the time and cost associated with it," said Vladimir Kolesov, a Ph.D. researcher and the paper's lead author.

Beyond solar cells, the doping technique could be more broadly used in other areas of organic electronics, noted Ph.D. researcher Wen-Fang Chou. "With its simplicity, this is truly a promising technology offering adjustable conductivity of semiconductors that could be applied to various organic electronics, and could have huge impact on the industry for mass production."

Also at Georgia Tech, the research involved professors Samuel Graham and Seth Marder, both from the Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics. Beyond Georgia Tech, the project also involved Naoya Aizawa from Kyushu University; Ming Wang, Guillermo Bazan and Thuc-Quyen Nguyen from the University of California Santa Barbara, and Alberto Perrotta from Eindhoven University of Technology,

Research paper: "Solution-based electrical doping of semiconducting polymer films over a limited depth"


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
Georgia Institute of Technology
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
Perovskite solar cells hit new world efficiency record
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Dec 02, 2016
They're flexible, cheap to produce and simple to make - which is why perovskites are the hottest new material in solar cell design. And now, engineers at Australia's University of New South Wales in Sydney have smashed the trendy new compound's world efficiency record. Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Solar Research Conference in Canberra on Friday 2 December, Anita Ho-Baillie, a Senior Resear ... 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
Metallic Glass Gears Make for Graceful Robots

It takes less than a second to tell humans from androids

Designing Agile Human-Machine Teams

Micro-bubbles make big impact

SOLAR DAILY
Ireland gets a bit greener with funding from Europe

New York to bid in Federal Offshore Wind Auction

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

DONG Energy sets wind energy sights on Taiwan

SOLAR DAILY
MPs to grill Merkel over VW 'dieselgate' scandal

China slaps new 10% tax on super-luxury cars

Apple reveals autonomous vehicle ambitions

Car manufacturers to juice Europe with e-charging network

SOLAR DAILY
Quantum obstacle course changes material from superconductor to insulator

FSU professor designs new material to better store hydrogen fuel

Efficient catalysts key to turning water into fuel

Physicists spell 'AV' by manipulating Abrikosov vortices

SOLAR DAILY
Fukushima costs to double to nearly $180 bn: report

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

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

Swiss reject speedy nuclear phaseout

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
Green groups pressure Spain over 'at risk' wetlands

Scientists say North should commit to pay for forest conservation in South

Tribal protesters with arrows try to enter Brazil's Congress

Remote Amazon tribe kills illegal gold miners: officials




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