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Organic and solution-processed tandem solar cells with 17.3% efficiency

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Science  14 Sep 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6407, pp. 1094-1098
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat2612

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Tailoring tandem organics

Tandem solar cells can boost efficiency by using a wider range of the solar spectrum. The bandgap of organic semiconductors can be tuned over a wide range, but, for a two-terminal device that directly connects the cells, the currents produced must be nearly equal. Meng et al. used a semiempirical analysis to choose well-matched top- and bottom-cell active layers. They used solution processing to fabricate an inverted tandem device that has a power conversion efficiency as high as 17.4%.

Science, this issue p. 1094

Abstract

Although organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells have many advantages, their performance still lags far behind that of other photovoltaic platforms. A fundamental reason for their low performance is the low charge mobility of organic materials, leading to a limit on the active-layer thickness and efficient light absorption. In this work, guided by a semi-empirical model analysis and using the tandem cell strategy to overcome such issues, and taking advantage of the high diversity and easily tunable band structure of organic materials, a record and certified 17.29% power conversion efficiency for a two-terminal monolithic solution-processed tandem OPV is achieved.

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