South Korean Researchers Claim a High-Efficiency Large-Area Organic Solar Module

A research team from South Korea claimed that they had developed a large-area organic solar photovoltaic (PV) module with higher efficiency.

The researchers applied a spin-coating method to develop the large-area organic solar PV cell. Spin-coating is a low-cost method to apply uniform thin films on flat substrates through rapid rotations of the solvent and solution of material to create an even covering.

The researchers said that the newly developed polymer solar cell (PSC) is based on PBDB-T and ITIC. PBDB-T is a polymer donor material utilized in organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices to convert solar energy to electric energy. ITIC is an electron-accepting molecule that enables good alignment with low band gap-polymers to increase charge separation efficiency and reduce power loss.

According to the researchers, the crystallization of ITIC and its subsequent aggregation, which reduces solar cell efficiency, happens due to the slow evaporation of the solvent during bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) film formation. However, it can be improved through speeding up the evaporation process for effective charge generation and transportation with a 50 °C heating process.


“As a result, PBDB-T: ITIC photovoltaic module prepared at 50°C  showed munch enhanced efficiency of 9.03% than 5% of room temperature processed PV module. The result will provide research guideline for efficient transfer of spin-coating based small cell technology to roll-to-roll based large-area PSC modules,” said the Korean researchers.

Meanwhile, another team of researchers from the South China University of Technology claimed to have developed a new method of producing organic solar cells, which eliminate the need for potentially toxic materials while maintaining high conversion efficiencies. The breakthrough could unlock the mass manufacturing of next-generation organic solar cells that won’t harm nature or humans.

A research team from the University of Michigan recently said they set a new efficiency record for color-neutral, transparent organic solar cells.