Efficiency of Organic Solar Cells Boosted by Use of Active Polymer Material

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There are two major advantages of using printed organic solar cells- simple manufacturing methods and use of cheap materials. The professor at Linköping University, Olle Inganäs, heading the team of researchers has developed a simple method for manufacturing solar cell modules. The energy efficiency of organic solar cells is coming close to conventional silicon solar cells are yet to reach there and survive competition in the market. Organic solar cells can be used for many applications as they are soft, semi-transparent, flexible, available in different colours, and manufactured in a cost-effective manner.

The professor with his research group have successfully developed flexible and thin solar cells. The researchers have successfully tested a method where they make use of active polymer material instead of glue. The anode and the cathode are covered by the active material before the whole unit is laminated together since only two layers need to be printed the number of defects is low as well as the probability that the defects are located exactly opposite each other during the lamination is also minimal.

By laminating the two layers together, the unit becomes robust and flexible and more current can be generated by the solar cells when illuminated from one side. Moisture is causing trouble as per the researchers. Small electron traps form in the material that capture electrons prior to them reaching the electrode. This is resolved by manufacturing anodes and cathodes films and rapidly laminating them together with active polymer in a carefully protected environment. Researchers said that the lesser duration of the film being exposed to moisture, the better. This lamination method worked with a variety of combinations of polymer, as shown by the researchers and it has helped boost the energy efficiency to be as high as it is obtained through conventional manufacturers.

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