Enhanced light harvesting in organic solar cells featuring a biomimetic active layer and a self-cleaning antireflective coating

Jing-De Chen, Lei Zhou, Qing-Dong Ou, Yan-Qing Li, Su Shen, Shuit-Tong Lee, Jian-Xin Tang

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102 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Advanced light manipulation is extremely attractive for applications in organic optoelectronics to enhance light harvesting efficiency. A novel method of fabricating high-efficiency organic solar cells (OSCs) is proposed using biomimetic moth eye nanostructures in a quasi-periodic gradient shape active layer and an antireflective coating. A 24.3% increase in photocurrent is realized without sacrificing dark electrical properties, yielding a 22.2% enhancement in power conversion efficiency to a record of 7.86% for OSCs with a poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl):indene-C60 bis-adduct (P3HT:ICBA) active layer. The experimental and theoretical characterizations verify that the substantial improvement of OSCs is mainly ascribed to the self-enhanced absorption resulting from the broadband polarization-insensitive light trapping in biomimetic nanostructured active layer, the reduction in reflectance by the antireflective coating, and surface plasmonic effect excited by corrugated metallic electrode. It is noteworthy that the pathway described here is promising for opening up opportunities to realize high-performance OSCs towards the future photovoltaic applications. A novel method for light manipulation in organic solar cells by patterning a biomimetic moth-eye nanostructure into the active layer and adding an antireflective coating is reported. The light harvesting of poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl):indene-C60 bis-adduct (P3HT:ICBA)-based solar cells is enhanced to a record efficiency of 7.86% due to the collective excitation of self-enhanced absorption by broadband polarization-insensitive light scattering, surface plasmonic resonance, and the antireflective effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1301777
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Volume4
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • biomimetic nanostructures
  • light harvesting
  • organic solar cells
  • surface plasmonic effects

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