Organic polymer solar cells show potential to provide solar power to remote microwatt sensors, wearable technology and the Wi-Fi-connected. Like all solar cells, the polymer solar cell converts light into electricity, by converting a flux of photons (light) into a flux of charged particles (a current). In tests in the lab, the polymer solar cell converts % of the energy in sunlight into an electrical current. If certified by one of the gold standard.


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Since holes still must diffuse the length of the polymer solar cell through the polymer to a contact, OHJs suffer similar thickness limitations. Mitigating the hole mobility bottleneck is key to further enhancing device performance of OHJ's.

Single layer[ edit ] Fig 2: Sketch of a single layer organic photovoltaic cell Single layer organic photovoltaic cells are the simplest form. These cells are made by sandwiching a layer of organic electronic materials between two metallic conductors, typically a layer of indium tin oxide ITO with high work polymer solar cell and a layer of low work function metal such as Aluminum, Magnesium or Calcium.

The basic structure of such a cell is illustrated in Fig 2. The difference of work function between the two conductors sets up an electric field in the organic layer. The potential created by the different work functions helps to split the exciton pairs, pulling electrons polymer solar cell the positive electrode an electrical conductor used to make contact with a non-metallic part of a circuit and holes to the polymer solar cell electrode.

How do polymer solar cells work

One device used polyacetylene Fig 1 as the organic layer, with Al and graphiteproducing an open circuit voltage of 0. A major problem polymer solar cell them is that the electric field resulting from the difference between the two conductive electrodes is seldom sufficient to split the excitons.


Often the electrons recombine with the holes without reaching the electrode. Bilayer[ edit ] Fig 3: Sketch of a multilayer organic photovoltaic cell.

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Bilayer cells contain two layers in between the conductive polymer solar cell Fig polymer solar cell. The two layers have different electron affinity and ionization energiestherefore electrostatic forces are generated at the interface between the two layers.

Light must create excitons in this small charged region for an efficient charge separation and collecting.

The materials are chosen to make the differences large enough that these local electric fields are strong, which splits excitons much more efficiently than single layer photovoltaic cells. The layer with higher electron affinity and ionization potential is the electron acceptor, and the other layer is the electron donor.

This structure is also called a planar donor-acceptor heterojunction. A layer of copper phthalocyanine CuPc as electron donor and perylene tetracarboxylic derivative as electron acceptor, fabricating a cell with a fill factor as high as 0.

In order for most excitons to diffuse to the interface of layers and split into carriers, the layer thickness should be in the same range as the diffusion length.

At such a polymer solar cell thickness, only a small fraction of the excitons can reach the heterojunction interface. Discrete heterojunction[ edit ] A three-layer two acceptor and one donor fullerene -free stack achieved a conversion efficiency of 8. The implementation produced high open-circuit voltages and absorption in the visible spectra and high short-circuit currents.

Sketch of a dispersed junction photovoltaic cell Bulk heterojunctions have an absorption layer consisting of a nanoscale blend of donor and acceptor materials. The domain sizes of this blend are on the order of nanometers, allowing for excitons with short polymer solar cell to reach an interface and dissociate due to the large donor-acceptor interfacial area.

Without this percolating network, charges might be trapped in a donor or acceptor rich domain and polymer solar cell recombination. Bulk heterojunctions have an advantage over layered photoactive structures because they can be made thick enough for effective photon absorption without the difficult processing involved in orienting a layered structure while retaining similar level of performances.


Bulk polymer solar cell are most commonly created by forming a solution containing the two components, casting e. The two components will self-assemble into an interpenetrating network connecting the two electrodes.

  • Organic solar cell - Wikipedia
  • Organic solar cell
  • How do polymer solar cells work

The nanostructural morphology of bulk heterojunctions tends to be difficult to control, but is critical to photovoltaic performance. After the capture of a photon, electrons move to the acceptor domains, then are carried through the device and collected by one electrode, and holes polymer solar cell in the opposite direction and collected at the other side.