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.
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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
Commercial Drones to Get Privacy Guidelines Via Executive Order
July 25, 2014, 5:34 PM
Pentagon's Priciest Project, F-35, Misses International Debut
July 25, 2014, 10:18 AM
Temple University Researchers Hit the Delete Button on HIV, Remove it from Human Cells
July 22, 2014, 7:39 AM
Airbus Shows Off All-Electric E-Fan 2.0 Airplane, Plans Production in 2017
July 21, 2014, 9:29 AM
Buzz Aldrin Says First Astronauts to Set Foot on Mars Should Never Return Home
July 9, 2014, 9:46 AM
Women May Soon Be Able to Control Their Fertility via Remote Control
July 7, 2014, 10:14 AM
Most Popular Articles
JJ Abrams Unveils X-Wing Starfighter for New "Star Wars" Movie
July 21, 2014, 12:24 PM
Ford Details ’15 F-150’s 325hp, 2.7L EcoBoost V6; Demonstrates 732-lb Weight Loss
July 22, 2014, 6:55 PM
Comcast Memo: Harassing Customers During Retention Calls Actually IS Our Policy
July 22, 2014, 5:19 PM
Kindle Fire Phone Review Roundup -- A Solid "Meh"
July 23, 2014, 2:09 PM
Motorola Moto G Successor Reportedly Uncovered, Moto X Discounted by up to $75
July 21, 2014, 1:11 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information