The main expected benefits of organic solar cells are that they are affordable, have environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and can be produced on a mass scale. They run off a printer, like newspaper comes of the press.
One limitation that researchers are trying to address is that their efficiency is compromised by the way the cells are formed during the printing or deposition process.
This project aims to improve the efficiency, reproducibility and performance consistency of flexible, low-cost organic solar cells by controlling the molecular alignment of the active organic components in the cell.
This collaboration builds on the expertise in interface, electrodes and microscopic characterisation at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, and the synthesis, scale-up and printing expertise available at the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Over two years, the project team will develop interface modification methods to direct molecular organisation in thin printed films. The resulting organic films will be analysed using advanced electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction techniques.
Specifically, the team will:
• Analyse the performance of a number of interface modification agents
• Determine their effect on the surface of deposited films
• Select the best agent, and determine its ability to affect the way the cell forms under different deposition methods and conditions
• Assess the way the cell is formed in relation to the solar cell device performance
• Translate the best method to large-scale printed solar cells.
Fact Sheet: Enhancing efficiencies in printed solar cells by controlling morphology development (PDF 324KB)