Chinese scientists develop high-performance flexible organic solar cells

Professor Chen Yongsheng’s team of Professor Chen Yongsheng of Nankai University’s School of Chemistry has recently successfully prepared a flexible transparent electrode with high conductivity, high light transmission and low surface roughness, which can be used to construct flexible organic solar cells, and the photoelectric conversion efficiency has refreshed the record of the highest efficiency of flexible organic/polymer solar cell photoelectric conversion reported in the literature. This result brings the efficient flexible organic solar cell one step closer to industrialization.


On April 4, the world’s top academic journal, Nature Electronics, presented their breakthrough in the field of flexible transparent electrodes and flexible organic solar cells.

Flexible electronic devices, especially optoelectronic devices based on organic materials, are a major trend in the future development of electronic devices, with great application prospects. “Among them, obtaining high-performance flexible transparent electrode is the prerequisite for achieving high-efficiency flexible organic optoelectronic devices, and is also the core problem in the field.” However, how to obtain flexible transparent electrodes with high conductivity, high light transmission, low surface roughness and simple preparation methods remain a great challenge. Chen Yongsheng said.

Due to the lack of the above-mentioned high-performance flexible transparent electrode, the performance of flexible organic optoelectronic devices is still lagging significantly behind the corresponding rigid devices. Flexible transparent electrodes are usually prepared by dry or solution treatment process. Compared with dry preparation, the solution treatment method has the advantages of low cost and large-scale “volume-to-roll” printing preparation, which has great potential for development.

Chen Yongsheng’s team used polymer electrolytes to prepare flexible transparent electrodes for silver nanowires with a “grid-like” structure. The flexible transparent electrode achieves excellent performance, low surface roughness, excellent mechanical properties and thermal stability, and simple and green preparation method.

To prove its usefulness in organic optoelectronic devices, Chen Yongsheng’s team prepared a flexible organic solar cell based on the flexible transparent electrode. The research shows that the electrode can be applied to different types of active materials as well as single-junction and laminated photovoltaic devices. The performance of the prepared flexible photovoltaic device is comparable to that of the device using the commercial ITO glass electrode. Single-junction and laminated flexible organic solar cells achieve diselectricconversion efficiency of 13.1% and 16.5% respectively, and show excellent mechanical properties, bending 1000 times in a row, the device can still maintain an initial efficiency of more than 95%.

“In addition to organic solar cells, this low-cost, high-performance flexible transparent electrode will also have great potential for application in other flexible electronics such as organic light-emitting diodes, transistors, sensors and other fields. Chen Yongsheng said.

The research was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the relevant science and technology projects of the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

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