While multi-junction geometries have the potential to boost the efficiency of organic solar cells, the experimental gains yet obtained are still very modest. This work proposes an alternative spectral splitting device concept in which various individual semiconducting junctions with cascading band gaps are laid side by side, thus the name RAINBOW. Each lateral sub-cell receives a fraction of the spectrum that closely matches the main absorption band of the given semiconductor. Here, simulations are used to identify the important material and device properties of each RAINBOW sub-cell.
Using the resulting design rules, three systems are selected, namely PBDB-T-2F:IO-4Cl, PBDB-T-2F:Y6 and PTB7-Th:COTIC-4F, and their potential as sub-cells in this geometry is experimentally investigated. With the aid of a custom built setup that generates spectrally spread sunlight on demand, the simulations are experimentally validated, showing that this geometry can lead to a reduction in thermalization losses and an improvement in light harvesting, which results in a relative improvement in efficiency of 46.6% with respect to the best sub-cell. Finally, a working proof of concept monolithic device consisting of two sub-cells deposited from solution on the same substrate is fabricated, thus demonstrating the feasibility and the potential of the RAINBOW solar cell concept.
Sustainable energy conversion & storage systems
RAINBOW Organic Solar Cells: Implementing Spectral Splitting in Lateral Multi-Junction Architectures
Martí Gibert-Roca, Miquel Casademont-Viñas, Quan Liu, Koen Vandewal, Alejandro R. Goñi, Mariano Campoy-Quiles
Adv. Mater.. Accepted Author Manuscript 2212226.