The polymer solar cells can offer far greater power-conversion efficiency than currently thought, according to a fresh study by a group of researchers at Northwestern University.
Polymer or plastic solar cells are flexible and lightweight. Moreover, polymer solar cells contain easily available and environment-friendly materials. But, their low power-conversion efficiency has so far been a big challenge for scientists to fix.
Now a team of researchers led by Professor Tobin J. Marks has designed and synthesized new polymer semiconductors and reported the realization of polymer solar cells with 80 per cent fill factor.
The fill factor of 80 per cent is quite close to that of silicon solar cells.
Sharing the results, Professor Marks said, "Our results indicate that the power-conversion efficiency achievable with polymer solar cells may be far beyond the current levels, heralding a bright future for this technology."
Professor Marks added that with the high fill factors, polymers with good but not top light absorption were still able to achieve very good power-conversion efficiency.
The research appeared in the August 11th edition of the journal Nature Photonics.