An Integrated Approach Toward High Performance Materials and Contacts for Organic Solar Cells

D.C. Olson
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), US

Keywords: organic solar cell, organic photovoltaic, metal oxide

Summary:

Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) have become an attractive technology due to their potential for low temperature, large-area, and high-throughput manufacturing. Further barriers that must be overcome prior to commercialization lie in the development of OPV materials and device architectures to result in improved efficiency and stability. To achieve this, we are developing unique tools, design rules, and new materials for both active layers and selective contacts. We begin with a high-throughput combinatorial computational method for the in silico design and evaluation of new active layer materials. This allows for the initial evaluation of estimated materials properties and helps to down-select potential materials prior to synthesis and optimization. New materials are subsequently synthesized and characterized to relate back to further improve the estimates from computation. Time-resolved microwave conductivity (TRMC) and other characterization techniques are utilized to evaluate materials while looking for the efficient charge separation, photoconductivity, and long carrier lifetimes that are correlated to high performance OPV active layer materials. This information helps to further down-select the materials that will be optimized in OPV devices. Integration of theory and characterization helps to increase the throughput and success rate for the development new materials.