Research Demonstrates 17% Power Conversion Efficiency in Organic PV Cells

A team of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a technique that could increase the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of organic photovoltaic (OPV) solar cells to 17%.

The team achieved this new efficiency level after they were able to finely optimize the alkyl chains of the BTP-4Cl (a derivative of a well-known new-emerging non-fullerene electron acceptor (NFA), Y6) and synthesized a series of new NFAs BTP-4Cl-X (X = 8, 12 or 16). They applied the new NFAs in fabricating large-area coated OPV cells and achieved good results, says the study.

While OPV cells have previously yielded power conversion efficiency greater than 16%, they were made with a spin-coating method in laboratories and were not suitable for large-scale production. Because of the high spinning speed during the spin-coating process, wet films dried too fast, increasing the volatilization rate of the solvent.

This would affect the efficiency of the cell, and attempting this through any other method would make it challenging to manufacture highly efficient OPV cells through large-area fabrication methods. However, thanks to the newly synthesized NFAs, they were able to mitigate efficiency losses and achieve a 17% efficiency rate.

This study has also demonstrated that the optimization of just the chemical structures of the photoactive materials also would greatly improve the large-scale production possibilities.

Recently, Panasonic Corporation announced that it achieved the world’s highest energy conversion efficiency of 16.09% for a perovskite solar module by developing a lightweight technology using a glass substrate and large-area coating method based on inkjet printing.

Previously, Mercom reported that JinkoSolar, a China-based solar module manufacturer, announced that it broke the world record for maximum conversion efficiency for its bifacial solar modules, hitting 22.49%. With this, the company says it has set a new industry standard for the efficiency of mass-produced solar cells.