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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    University of Melbourne

    Location

    Melbourne, Victoria

    ARENA Program

    Australian Solar Institute

  • Start Date

    April 2011

    Status

    Past

  • Project Partners
    None
    This solar PV project was completed on 20 October 2014.

Summary

This project developed new materials and solar cell designs with enhanced performance that significantly improve the efficiency and durability of organic photovoltaic (OPV) solar cells.

Key results

During the three year program, the consortium synthesised over 85 new materials divided into p-type materials (fifty nine polymers and nineteen small molecules), and seven new n-type materials. Of these 85 new materials 20 were rejected as they failed to pass the synthetic stage gate parameters, a further 12 were rejected as they failed to pass optoelectronic stage gates. A further 29 were rejected as they failed to pass initial device performance stage gates.

Need

Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) have emerged as a dynamic new technology that promises a low-cost way of mass-producing solar cells through the use of commercial printing processes.

Last updated
02 February 2021

Project innovation

The project employed a feedback loop, using information gained from the consortium’s comprehensive printing program, to identify the properties of optimal materials that can guide the design and development of high performance materials. The consortium synthesised over 85 new materials – divided into p-type materials (fifty nine polymers and nineteen small molecules), and seven new n-type materials.

Solar cell architectures were developed to match the best printing processes. The performance of OPV solar cells is nearing levels that will allow them to be printed in a large-scale process.

The improvements identified in this project will take OPV solar cells a step closer to the efficiencies and cell lifetimes required for a commercially viable large-scale printing program.

Benefit

Through the development of high performance materials this project will help to reduce the investment risk of the technology, allowing the project partners to make a decision on the timing of carrying the technology forward to pilot plant scale.

The current very best performance for a p-type polymer, developed in the consortium, stands at 10.3% Power Conversion Efficiency PCE (although the average of all samples of the material average PCE 9.0-9.3%) and will be among the best, and only the second of two reported BHJ single junction devices with a reported efficiency of over 10% PCE.

The consortium has reached the final goal of 12% PCE for a Dye-sensitized Solar Cell DSC device based of perovskite materials and is in the process of translating this technology to our parallel printing program where perovskites offer a high performance material for the printing program.

Last updated 02 February 2021
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