A new world-record efficiency of 8.3% has been claimed for a polymer-based single junction organic solar cell in an inverted device stack. Research house, imec and industrial partners, Polyera and Solvay, developed the proprietary inverted bulk heterojunction architecture, which resulted in achieving much higher efficiencies that other organic thin-film cells have to-date. Work is ongoing to increase the cell size and lifetime, a key challenge for organic-based cells.
Tom Aernouts, R&D team leader of organic photovoltaics at imec said: “These excellent results are the fruit of an intense collaboration between Solvay, imec and Polyera. It is remarkable to see how the inverted architecture adds to the performance of these cells! This shows how crucial the combination of high-level device technology and next-generation materials will be to bring organic solar cells to the market.”
Researchers said that the new cell architecture uses a proprietary Polyera semiconductor in the photoactive layer. Imec also developed the proprietary inverted bulk heterojunction architecture, which was said to optimize cell light management and increases device stability.
Antonio Facchetti, CTO of Polyera: “This is great work done by the teams at imec, Solvay and here at Polyera. We’ve now demonstrated that with a combination of accurate control over semiconductor polymer chemistry and innovative cell architectures, new efficiency milestones can be achieved”. Martin Drees, OPV device team manager at Polyera said: “We’re excited by the great technical progress we’ve seen over the past few months and expect to see the rate of achievement continue to accelerate during the coming year.”