Fraunhofer ISE unveils 15.8%-efficient organic solar cell

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From pv magazine Germany

Researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the Materials Research Center FMF at the University of Freiburg have set a new world record for organic photovoltaics. They achieved an efficiency of 15.8% for a 1 cm2 organic solar cell by using an anti-reflection coating that absorbs more light in the photoactive layer of the cell and thus generates a higher current.

The thin-film system required for the coating was developed by the researchers at Fraunhofer ISE. The efficiencies of organic solar are still rather low compared to conventional crystalline silicon cells, although they can also be produced cheaply. Researchers around the world are still working on improving their efficiency and scalability.

“We achieved the improvement in the record-breaking solar cell to a large extent by using an anti-reflection coating, which absorbs more light in the photoactive layer of the cell and thus generates a higher current,” explained Uli Würfel, head of the organic and perovskite PV department at Fraunhofer ISE.

The thin-film system required for the coating was developed by the researchers at Fraunhofer ISE. At the same time, the research center also developed electrodes for semi-transparent organic solar cells using this coating process. These consist of a photoactive, organic layer applied to a back electrode that lets visible light through and at the same time reflects near-infrared light back into the cell, according to Würfel.

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