Solar cells are currently the most prominent research topic in the Renewable and Alternative Energy Source field, and has already scaled down the consumption rate of conventional non-renewable energy sources by a significant amount. Recently, an inter institutional group from the Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has devised a cheap method to manufacture polymer solar cells without taking any help from the high priced Fullerene, an atom-packed carbon allotrope.
Polymer solar cells are a potential variant of Solar cells and has emerged as a cost-effective alternative to Silicon Solar cells. Previously, scientists used to depend on Fullerene to inject its inherited high efficiency into the polymer solar cell when combined. However, a major disadvantage in this method is the inevitable transformation into large crystals at a higher temperature, and the odd behaviour when subjected to illumination.
The group led by Professor Jianhui Hou has achieved a breakthrough by successfully eliminating Fullerene by retaining the desired characteristics with the help of a new found effective combination between polymer PBDB-T and a small molecule called ITIC. Such integration results in an escalation of efficiency by 11%, a value comparable with the Fullerene induced Polymer Solar cells.
Polymer Solar Cell
The team head, Feng Gao, a physicist from Linköping University, along with his colleagues, Olle Inganäs and Deping Qian has designed a loss spectroscopy of photovoltage (Voc), a primary construction requirement for solar cells and has suggested new ideas to improve the device. Physicist Feng commented that highly efficient and thermally stable solar cells can be created without borrowing the Fullerene properties. The innovation will be ready to use as a commercial product, once the printing is done. The research report was published in the latest issue of the 'Advanced Materials' journal.