A new study pushes organic solar cell efficiency beyond 17% with the authors saying that up to 25% is possible.
This is important because according to estimates, with a 15% efficiency and a 20 year lifetime, organic solar cells could produce electricity at a cost of less than 7 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Flexible, printed solar cells can work indoors and they can be made semi-transparent, so they could be incorporated into windows and generate power during daylight.
Though organic photovoltaic cells (OPVs) have many advantages, their performance still lags far behind that of other photovoltaic platforms. One of the most fundamental reasons for this is the low charge mobility of organic materials, leading to a limit on the active layer thickness and efficient light absorption. In this work, guided by a semi-empirical model analysis and using the tandem cell strategy to overcome such issues, and taking advantage of the high diversity and easily tunable band structure of organic materials, a record and certified 17.29% power conversion efficiency for a 2-terminal monolithic solution processed tandem OPV is achieved.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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