More efficient large-area organic solar cells with spin coating


Researchers from the Photo-electronic Hybrids Research Center at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have applied spin coating to the manufacture of large-area organic PV cells.

Low-cost spin coating applies a uniform film onto a solid surface using centrifugal force and a liquid-vapor interface. It is used in organic PV research during film formation to speed up solvent evaporation.

The researchers said spin coating enables bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) films for large-area organic cells which perform better and are more replicable than films produced without the process. “Commercially-available organic materials become easily crystallized, which makes them unsuitable for large-area solution processes,” the KIST group explained.

The solar cell developed by the researchers is based on PBDB-T, a polymer donor semiconductor material used in highly-efficient OPV [organic PV] devices and ITIC, an n-type acceptor which provides good alignment with low band-gap polymers for enhanced charge separation efficiency and reduced energy loss. “Such aggregated morphology of PBDB-T:ITIC is much improved, to optimal morphology for effective charge generation and transporting with a 50 degrees Celsius heating process,” the scientists said.

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The KIST group said they could control the solvent evaporation rate and that the efficiency of their solar cell was higher than devices of the same kind with a large area. “As a result, [the] PBDB-T:ITIC photovoltaic module (active area 58.5cm2) prepared at 50 degrees Celsius showed much-enhanced efficiency of 9.3% … 5% [more than the] room temperature processed one,” they stated.

The cell is described in the paper Developement [sic] of highly efficient large area organic photovoltaic module: Effects of nonfullerene acceptor, published in Nano Energy and on the ScienceDirect website.

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