Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > News > Engineering low-cost energy from plastic photovoltaics

October 8th, 2009

Engineering low-cost energy from plastic photovoltaics

Abstract:
David Lidzey and James Kingsley

Optimization of new and existing conjugated polymers for solar cells helps bring inexpensive renewable electricity closer to reality.

Over the last five years, many research groups3 have studied OPVs based on the polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and fullerene derivative phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM). These materials can form an interpenetrating network of nanoscale domains. When incident light excites an electron-hole pair in the P3HT, the electron hops across to the PCBM because of its different electronic-energy levels. This produces separated charges that can be extracted at the device electrodes to generate electricity. Unfortunately, the low optical absorption of P3HT in the near-IR and poorly matched energy levels result in a fundamental limit to the power efficiency that can be obtained from P3HT/PCBM devices. Nevertheless, the amount of existing research on these materials and their commercial availability make them an excellent test system for OPV research.

Over the last year, we have invested significant effort into understanding and optimizing P3HT/PCBM thin-film device fabrication. Wide-ranging improvements have enabled us to produce consistently high-performing OPVs. In particular, we have optimized device efficiency by varying film thickness and exploring the effect of varying the relative ratio of P3HT and PCBM in the composite film. The P3HT/PCBM films are cast from solution, and so we looked at the type of solvent used for casting. We investigated different techniques to ‘grow' a nanoscale-network-like structure of efficient charge-transporting pathways within the film, such as thermal annealing at various temperatures, and the use of a plasticizing solvent vapor to promote crystallization of the P3HT molecules. The latter technique increases hole mobility within the film and also extends the device sensitivity to red light.

Source:
spie.org

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Creation of coherent states in molecules by incoherent electrons October 21st, 2017

Novel 'converter' heralds breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale: Invention bagged four patents and could potentially make microprocessor chips work 1,000 times faster October 20th, 2017

Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer October 20th, 2017

Leti Coordinating Project to Develop Innovative Drivetrains for 3rd-generation Electric Vehicles: CEA Tech’s Contribution Includes Liten’s Knowhow in Magnetic Materials and Simulation And Leti’s Expertise in Wide-bandgap Semiconductors October 20th, 2017

Announcements

Creation of coherent states in molecules by incoherent electrons October 21st, 2017

Novel 'converter' heralds breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale: Invention bagged four patents and could potentially make microprocessor chips work 1,000 times faster October 20th, 2017

Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer October 20th, 2017

Leti Coordinating Project to Develop Innovative Drivetrains for 3rd-generation Electric Vehicles: CEA Tech’s Contribution Includes Liten’s Knowhow in Magnetic Materials and Simulation And Leti’s Expertise in Wide-bandgap Semiconductors October 20th, 2017

Environment

Single ‘solitons’ promising for optical technologies October 9th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

High-tech electronics made from autumn leaves: New process converts biomass waste into useful electronic devices August 30th, 2017

Nanoparticles pollution rises 30 percent when flex-fuel cars switch from bio to fossil: Study carried out in São Paulo, home to the world's largest flex fuel urban fleet, shows increase of ultrafine particulate matter when ethanol prices rose and consumption fell August 28th, 2017

Energy

New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater: Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions October 4th, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

Solar/Photovoltaic

New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater: Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions October 4th, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project