A novel approach based on three-dimensional (3D) architecture for polymeric photovoltaic cells made up of an array of sub-micron and nano-pillars which not only increase the area of the light absorbing surface, but also improve the carrier collection efficiency of bulk-heterojunction organic solar cells is presented. The approach also introduces coating of 3D anodes with a new solution-processable highly conductive transparent polymer (Orgacon™) that replaces expensive vacuum-deposited ITO (indium tin oxide) as well as the additional hole-collecting layer of conventional PEDOT:PSS (poly(3,4- ethylenedioxythiophene) poly(styrenesulfonate)). In addition, the described procedure is well suited to roll-to-roll high-throughput manufacturing. The high aspect-ratio 3D pillars which form the basis for this new architecture are patterned through micro-electromechanical-system- and nano-electromechanical- system-based processes. For the particular case of P3HT (poly(3-hexylthiophene)) and PCBM (phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester) active material, efficiencies in excess of 6% have been achieved for these photovoltaic cells of 3D architecture using ITO-less flexible PET (polyethylene terephthalate) substrates. This increase in efficiency turns out to be more than twice higher than those achieved for their 2D counterparts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Mechanics of Materials
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials