Organic PV

May 1, 2014

Status of Organic Photovoltaics

The 28th European photovoltaic solar energy conference and exhibition (EU PVSEC) was held in Paris from September 30 to October 4, 2013.  This European event attracted conference delegates and exhibition attendees from around the globe.  The scientific conference featured acclaimed international researchers who discussed their ground breaking research in numerous sectors related to solar energy.  This multi-disciplinary aspect is one of the greatest attributes of the EU PVSEC.  This international congress helps unify the many fields associated with photovoltaic solar energy research and development. An emerging PV sector, encompassing a diverse array of young solar technologies, includes dye-sensitized, organic, inorganic, quantum dot and perovskite cells. This sector of third generation cells has seen a large improvement in power conversion efficiencies over the past 5 years.  This year’s world record perovskite cell reached an efficiency of 14.1%, which surpasses the dye-sensitized record of 11.9%.  The efficiency of organic cells (OPV) has doubled in less than half a decade from 5% to over 10%. 

...read more
August 15, 2013

PVSC 2013-Exploring Tampa in the Sunshine

The 39th Photovoltaic Specialists Conference in Tampa, Florida was a great conference. Photovoltaic specialists from all over the world gathered at the paradise of recreation, learning the most recent developments in this field delivered by hundreds of high quality presentations and posters. The topics span across eleven general areas from fundamental and new concepts of PV to the supporting of PV innovation with little to none overlap between each area. For me, an organic chemist focusing on developing new polymers to improve the stability of organic photovoltaics (OPV), the area that mostly interested me was, without a doubt, OPV. Thursday of last week was the day for OPVs. In the morning, Professor Christian Körner from Heliatek GmbH gave a talk on the recent progress of organic solar cells [1].  Like a typical general review of this field, the talk started with some fundamental concepts and theories of organic semiconductors, then moved to some developments that aimed at solving the issues

...read more
July 22, 2013

The Challenges of Cheap Organic Photovoltaics

My name is Bruno and I’m a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Michel Côté  at the University of Montréal. Our group focuses on developing “beyond ab initio” numerical methods in order to model organic molecules, polymers and interfaces for applications in organic photovoltaics. Organic materials offer great promises for photovoltaic applications, mainly because they would be very cheap to produce. Indeed, we are constantly surrounded by plastics of various kinds, so there already exists a large chemical industry that can handle vats of the stuff. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just buy 100 square meters of rolled up photovoltaic plastic films at a local hardware store, unfurl it on the roof at home and get some of the Sun’s sweet power for (almost) free? Well that’s still science fiction at this point but our group’s goal is to help make it happen. There are very many possible organic compounds and polymers,and exponentially more possible combinations which could do the trick. It’s like looking for a

...read more