Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers at HKUST achieved novel nanobowl optical concentrator for organic solar cell

07.01.2015

Geometrical light trapping is a simple and promising strategy to largely improve the optical absorption and efficiency of solar cells. Nonetheless, implementation of geometrical light trapping in organic photovoltaic (OPV) is challenging due to the fact that uniform organic active layer can rarely be achieved on textured substrate.

Professor Zhiyong Fan and his group from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) reported novel nanobowl optical concentrator fabricated on low-cost aluminum foil and aiming at tackling this problem. They have successfully fabricated OPV devices based on such optical concentrator and demonstrated over 28 % enhancement in power conversion efficiency over the devices without nanobowl. This work was published in SCIENCE BULLETIN. 2015 Vol. 1.


This is an electron microscopic image and optical simulation of nanobowl optical concentrator.

Credit: ©Science China Press

Solar energy is one of the most promising renewable energy resources and represents a clean and ultimate replacement for fossil fuels in the future. Over the past decades, enormous efforts have been invested in developing efficient and cost effective photovoltaic devices which are competitive to the fossil fuel. Organic photovoltaic (OPV) has been regarded as one of the promising candidates for large-scale, low-cost and efficient solar energy harvesting. Typical OPV devices are fabricated on glass substrate and using indium-doped tin oxide as electrode.

However, such substrate is not flexible and the relatively high resistance of ITO electrode will compromises the OPV device performance. Comparatively, an aluminum foil substrate has the advantages of excellent conductivity, flexibility, cost-effectiveness and roll-to-roll processibility. Meanwhile, light trapping by nano-textured substrate is an appealing strategy to improve solar cell efficiency. Nonetheless, such application for OPV has yet been successfully demonstrated up to now. This is partly due to the more stringent requirement on active layer thickness uniformity for OPV devices and such uniformity is hard to be guaranteed on nano-texture with the existing coating techniques.

The novel nanobowl optical concentrator developed by Professor Zhiyong Fan can largely enhance the optical absorption in the active layer of organic solar cell and optical simulation revealed that such improvement was contributed by the superior photon capturing capability of the nanobowl. In addition, they have investigated the effect of geometry of nanobowl on the solar cell performance and three types of nanobowl with pitch of 1000 nm, 1200 nm and 1500 nm were studied.

Solar cells based on nanobowl with pitch of 1000 nm exhibited the best photon absorption in photoactive layer leading to the highest short-circuit current density of ~9.41 mA cm-2 among all nanobowl substrates. With open-circuit voltage of 0.573 V and fill factor of 57.9 %, this nanobowl solar cell achieved a solar energy conversion efficiency of 3.12 %, which is 28 % improvement over the control device without nanobowl. This work not only revealed the in-depth understanding of light trapping by nanobowl optical concentrator, but also demonstrated the feasibility of implementing geometrical light trapping in low-cost, solution processible OPV.

The development of the novel nanobowl optical concentrator and its application on OPV were a collaborative effort involving Professors in Department of Chemistry of HKUST including Professor Shihe Yang and Professor He (Henry) Yan, who are working on cutting-edge researches about organic photovoltaics. The research project was supported by General Research Funds from Hong Kong Research Grants Council and Hong Kong Innovation Technology Commission.

See the article: Nanobowl optical concentrator for efficient light trapping and high-performance organic photovoltaics. Science Bulletin. DOI:10.1007/s11434-014-0693-8

http://www.scibull.com:8080/EN/abstract/abstract509578.shtml http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11434-014-0693-8

Zhiyong Fan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://zh.scichina.com/english/

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Organic-inorganic heterostructures with programmable electronic properties
30.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics
23.03.2017 | North Carolina State University

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>