Major Power Efficiency Boost for Flexible Solar Cells

Scientists have recently tweaked the material of ternary organic solar cells (TOSCs) and achieved efficiencies in reach of their conventional solar-cell cousins.

In their study, the researchers used a guest component called LA1 (which differs from other guest component materials with respect to their crystallinity) in the TOSC. LA1 is a small molecule acceptor that the researchers modified with phenylalkyl side chains—a functional group (collections of atoms within molecules that have their own set of properties) that is commonly used in the design of organic materials for use in photovoltaic devices. The LA1 was modified with the phenylalkyl side chain to improve its crystallinity and alignment while maintaining satisfactory compatibility, in turn enhancing its performance in the TOSC.

As a result, the researchers were initially able to achieve PCE gains of over 15 percent, and then by combining their guest component with the Y6 family of acceptors as host component, they achieved still greater efficiency gains of over 19 percent.