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Issue 12, 2013
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Microlens array induced light absorption enhancement in polymer solar cells

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Abstract

Over the last decade, polymer solar cells (PSCs) have attracted a lot of attention and highest power conversion efficiencies (PCE) are now close to 10%. Here we employ an optical structure – the microlens array (MLA) – to increase light absorption inside the active layer, and PCE of PSCs increased even for optimized devices. Normal incident light rays are refracted at the MLA and travel longer optical paths inside the active layers. Two PSC systems – poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl):(6,6)-phenyl C61 butyric acid methyl ester (P3HT:PCBM) and poly[[9-(1-octylnonyl)-9H-carbazole-2,7-diyl]-2,5-thiophenediyl-2,1,3-benzothiadiazole-4,7-diyl-2,5-thiophenediyl]:(6,6)-phenyl C71 butyric acid methyl ester (PCDTBT:PC70BM) – were investigated. In the P3HT:PCBM system, MLA increased the absorption, absolute external quantum efficiency, and the PCE of an optimized device by ∼4.3%. In the PCDTBT:PC70BM system, MLA increased the absorption, absolute external quantum efficiency, and PCE by more than 10%. In addition, simulations incorporating optical parameters of all structural layers were performed and they support the enhancement of absorption in the active layer with the assistance of MLA. Our results show that utilizing MLA is an effective strategy to further increase light absorption in PSCs, in which optical losses account for ∼40% of total losses. MLA also does not pose materials processing challenges to the active layers since it is on the other side of the transparent substrate.

Graphical abstract: Microlens array induced light absorption enhancement in polymer solar cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Jan 2013, accepted on 22 Jan 2013 and first published on 24 Jan 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP50297J
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013,15, 4297-4302
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    Microlens array induced light absorption enhancement in polymer solar cells

    Y. Chen, M. Elshobaki, Z. Ye, J. Park, M. A. Noack, K. Ho and S. Chaudhary, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013, 15, 4297
    DOI: 10.1039/C3CP50297J

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