Measuring Purity, Size of Organic Solar Cells Ups Efficiency 42 Percent
January 8, 2013 3:00 PM
comment(s) - last by
By finding out how pure and large the acceptor domain is and what the interface of the donor domain looks like, efficiency can be increased
Berkeley Lab scientists have measured various aspects of an
organic solar cell
for the first time, successfully increasing efficiency with this knowledge.
The study, which was conducted by an international team of scientists at Berkeley Lab and led by Harald Ade, is the first to successfully map the size and purity of domains in organic solar cells to increase their performance.
For photovoltaic devices to compete with fossil fuels for energy collection, they must convert sunlight to energy at a very efficient level. Solar cell conversion
depends on excitons
, which are electron pairs that are energized by sunlight. These excitons must get to the interface of the donor and acceptor domains as quickly as possible to avoid losing energy as heat.
The efficiency of
polymer-based organic photovoltaic cells
depends on the purity of the donor and acceptor domains. So by finding out how pure and large the acceptor domain is and what the interface of the donor domain looks like, efficiency can be increased.
To do this, the researchers used ALS beamlines 22.214.171.124, a Resonant Soft X-ray Scattering (R-SoXS) facility; 7.3.3, a Small- and Wide-Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS/WAXS/) end-station, and 5.3.2, an end-station for Scanning Transmission X-Ray Microscopy (STXM) at Berkeley Lab.
"The combination of these three ALS beamlines enabled us to obtain comprehensive pictures of polymer-based organic photovoltaic film morphology from the nano- to the meso-scales," said Brian Collins, the paper's co-author. "Until now, this information has been unattainable."
Using the ALS beamlines, the team studied the polymer/fullerence blend PTB7:PC71BM in thin films made from chlorobenzene solution. It did this with and without the addition of the solvent diiodooctane, and the films were composed of droplets in where the dominant acceptor domain size without the additive was about 177 nanometers.
Adding the solvent reduced the acceptor domain size down to about 34 nanometers while maintaining the film's composition and crystallinity.
The end result was an efficiency gain of 42 percent.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
1/8/2013 4:29:54 PM
As I understand it, current organic based PV is extremely inefficient at under <10%. The maximum achieved PV efficiency is done with multi-junction (being able to absorb multiple wavelengths) PV cells composed of a variety of crystalline materials, which has barely reached 44% with the power of a 1000 suns (that means its able to convert 440 suns worth of power).
1/8/2013 7:44:10 PM
Organic solar cells are usually in the 6-8% range.
1/8/2013 8:15:48 PM
10% is the commonly quoted efficiency to make large scale commercialization practical. Despite not being anywhere near as efficient as silicon (>20%), organic solar cell will be an order of magnitude easier and cheaper to make.
I expect 10% will be achieved within the next couple years or so.
"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
Organic Crystal Allows Excitons to Travel Further, Produces More Efficient Plastic Solar Cells
October 11, 2010, 10:56 AM
Environmental Impact and Energy Use of Organic Solar Cells Evaluated
September 20, 2010, 10:24 PM
New Research Brings Organic Solar Cells Closer to Light of Day
January 16, 2009, 2:00 PM
U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II, F-22 Raptor Team Up for “Integration Training”
November 19, 2014, 9:15 AM
U.S. Marshals Using Fake, Airplane-based Cell Towers to Scan Cell Phones of Americans
November 14, 2014, 9:05 AM
Ford Enlists Wind Energy Corp. to Provide Wind, Solar Energy to Four U.S. Dealerships
November 10, 2014, 10:58 AM
Disney Reveals Star Wars Ep. VII Title -- "The Force Awakens"
November 6, 2014, 3:45 PM
U.S. Navy Lockheed F-35C Completes First Carrier Landing
November 4, 2014, 12:44 PM
Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen Donates $100M to Fight Raging Ebola Epidemic
October 23, 2014, 6:05 PM
Most Popular Articles
Xiaomi Aims to be #1 Smartphone OEM Within 10 Years, Apple Urges Caution
November 21, 2014, 9:33 AM
Google Caves to Microsoft and Apple's Pet "Patent Troll" Rockstar
November 24, 2014, 3:30 PM
Report: Samsung Galaxy S5 Sales Have Come in 40% Below Projections
November 24, 2014, 6:58 AM
Quick Note: GM Teases Next Generation Chevrolet Volt
November 20, 2014, 3:26 PM
Quick Note: Google Chromebooks Now Coming with 1TB of Google Drive Space
November 21, 2014, 1:20 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information