Description: Organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology is an attractive solar-electric conversion paradigm due to the promise of low cost roll-to-roll production and amenability to flexible substrates. Power conversion efficiency (PCE) exceeding 7% has recently been achieved. OPV cells suffer from low charge carrier mobilities of polymers, leading to recombination losses, higher series resistances and lower fill-factors. Thus, it is imperative to develop fabrication methodologies that can enable efficient optical absorption in films thinner than optical absorption length. Active layers conformally deposited on light-trapping, microscale textured, grating-type surfaces is one possible approach to achieve this objective. In this study, 40% theoretical increase in photonic absorption over flat OPVs is shown for devices with textured geometry by the simulation results. For verifying this theoretical result and improving the efficiency of OPVs by light trapping, OPVs were fabricated on grating-type textured substrates possessing t pitch and -coat PV active-layer on these textured substrates led to over filling of the valleys and shunts at the crest, which severely affected the performance of the resultant PV devices. Thus, it is established that although the optical design is important for OPV performance but the potential of light trapping can only be effectively tapped if the textures are amenable for realizing a conformal active layer. It is discovered that if the height of the underlying topographical features is reduced to sub-micron regime (e.g. 300 nm) and the pitch is increased to more than a micron (e.g. 2 μm), the textured surface becomes amenable to coating a conformal PV active-layer. The resultant PV cells showed 100% increase in average light absorption near the band edge due to trapping of higher wavelength photons, and 20% improvement in power conversion efficiency as compared with the flat PV cell. Another factor that severely limits the performance of OPVs is recombination of charge carriers. ...
Date: November 3, 2012
Creator: Nalwa, Kanwar
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department