Light on efficiency loss in natural solar cells

Oct 29, 2020 03:15 PM ET
  • Understanding right into energy losses that influence the conversion of light into electrical power can help improve organic solar cell efficiencies. A KAUST-led group of natural drug stores, products engineers, spectroscopists and academic physicists from six study groups has actually thoroughly evaluated efficiency-limiting procedures in organic photovoltaic or pv systems.
Light on efficiency loss in natural solar cells

To collect light, sophisticated organic solar cells rely on bulk heterojunctions, blends of light-responsive electron donor as well as acceptor materials. When light strikes the heterojunction, the resulting thrilled states are pairs of electrons and positively charged holes that need to be divided to make electrical current. Throughout fee separation, the donor gives electrons to the acceptor, and also the acceptor transfers holes to the donor.

For that reason, the effectiveness of the solar cells depends upon two key factors: the electron affinity balanced out between these products, which corresponds to the capability of the acceptor to get an electron as well as drives electron transfer; and the ionization power offset, which stands for the propensity of the contributor to launch an electron, facilitating hole transfer.

Nonfullerene acceptors (NFAs) have actually just recently produced solar cells with conversion effectiveness nearing 20 percent, outshining fullerene-based acceptors that had formerly controlled. "Key to these record effectiveness is the style and also synthesis of products that integrate reliable cost generation with marginal power losses," describes team leader Frederic Laquai.

" However, the specific function of the energy offsets and their associated procedures is uncertain, which has stalled the advancement of style guidelines for NFA-based systems" he adds.

To address this, the multidisciplinary group developed a method to monitor the photophysical procedures that affect cost generation in 23 various NFA-based systems.

" With our collaborator, Denis Andrienko from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Germany, we established a concise design that enabled us to correlate our experimental monitorings to physical criteria and chemical structures," claims study researcher, Julien Gorenflot.

The researchers found that, contrary to current records, significant ionization power offsets were required to produce charges. On the other hand, electron fondness offsets stopped working to cause charge separation no matter their magnitude.

These unexpected findings arise from a procedure called Forster resonance power transfer, which shows up to compete with electron transfer. Postdoc Catherine De Castro describes that "this is an immediate consequence of the design concept of the blends, where contributor as well as acceptor present overlapping discharge and also absorption, which helps with energy transfer."

The group plans to develop brand-new products combining boosted cost generation effectiveness with lower power losses. "This will certainly help in reducing the efficiency void to other arising photovoltaic technologies as well as bring natural photovoltaics more detailed to maturation and also application," Gorenflot says.