DGIST developed technology to enhance the efficiency of high-polymer solar cells
DGIST developed technology to enhance the efficiency of high-polymer solar cells -Enhanced by more than 25% of the previous level of energy conversion efficiency to bring forward commercialization-
DGIST revealed on the 16th that Dr. Sungho Woo(Senior Researcher, Energy Research Division, DGIST) and his research team jointly developed with Prof. Youngkyoo Kim(Kyungpook National University)’s research team technology that enhances the efficiency by approximately 25% compared to existing solar cells.
In this research, DGIST applied a polyethylenimine (PEI) solution with a nano-meter width to a zinc oxide surface during the manufacturing process of high-polymer solar cells to increase the existing efficiency of 7% to 8.9%, which is an increase of more than 25%. Also, the width was optimized to achieve an improvement in the photoelectric efficiency of at least 9%, and the mean efficiency was nearly 10%, representing the best overall efficiency of commercialized high-polymer solar cells.
High-polymer solar cells are manufactured on a high-polymer, organic foundation. They have the advantages of being ultra-shallow, flexible, and inexpensive. Hence, they are receiving attention as a next-generation solar cell, but commercialization has faced challenges due to their low photoelectric efficiency.
The DGIST research team thinly coated the electron transporting layer with a polyethylenimine solution to reduce the charge loss due to the high-energy barrier between the photoactive layer and the electron transporting layer. This eased the transportation of electrons to increase the photoelectric efficiency.
Senior researcher Sungho Woo said that the “research results are the key technology to enhance the efficiency of high polymer solar cells greatly without changing the material in the photoactive layer or the manufacturing equipment” and that it will “lead to the commercialization of high-polymer solar cells, which are considered as the next generation of solar cells”.
The research result was published in the January 8th online version of “Advanced Energy Materials,” which is an internationally renowned academic journal in the field of energy materials. The research team of Prof. Yeonjin Yi from Yonsei University assisted in the interpretation of the surface effect.
On the other hand, the Department of Energy Research at DGIST studied solar cells using various types of organic and inorganic semiconductors to obtain top-level efficiency. They are pushing ahead with the development of next-generation hybrid solar cells which combine the characteristics of each form of technology. (*For detailed information about the paper, please visithttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aenm.201301692/abstract)