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Home > News > Instant Insight: Solar energy turns organic

June 19th, 2008

Instant Insight: Solar energy turns organic

Abstract:
Cheap and efficient conversion of solar energy into electricity could help combat global warming and the shortage of fossil fuels. However, the high production cost of electricity from silicon-based solar cells has limited the use of the technology. Low cost solar cells with high cell performance are highly desirable and organic solar cells could be the answer. They are easy to make from inexpensive organic materials and, unlike inorganic solar cells, are lightweight, flexible and colourful.

Light absorption by organic solar cells leads to an excitation state known as an exciton or electron-hole pair. The electrons and holes are separated from each other and carried through donor and acceptor molecules to the electrodes, generating a photocurrent. This process of converting light directly into electricity is known as photovoltaics and it must be optimised for organic solar cells to be efficient. Much effort has been devoted to finding suitable donor and acceptor molecules and organising them on an electrode surface at the nanometre scale.

Source:
rsc.org

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