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Issue 5, 2015
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Reducing optical losses in organic solar cells using microlens arrays: theoretical and experimental investigation of microlens dimensions

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Abstract

The performance of organic photovoltaic devices is improving steadily and efficiencies have now exceeded 10%. However, the incident solar spectrum still largely remains poorly absorbed. To reduce optical losses, we employed a microlens array (MLA) layer on the side of the glass substrate facing the incident light; this approach does not interfere with the processing of the active-layer. We observed up to 10% enhancement in the short circuit current of poly({4,8-bis[(2-ethylhexyl)oxy]benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b′]dithiophene-2,6-diyl}{3-fluoro-2-[(2-ethylhexyl)carbonyl] thieno[3,4-b]thiophenediyl}):(6,6)-phenyl C71-butyric acid methyl ester (PTB7:PC71BM) OPV cells. Theoretically and experimentally investigating several MLA dimensions, we found that photocurrent increases with the ratio of the height to the pitch size of MLA. Simulations reveal the enhancement mechanisms: MLA focuses light, and also increases the light path within the active-layer by diffraction. Photocurrent enhancements increase for a polymer system with thinner active-layers, as demonstrated in poly[N-9′-heptadecanyl-2,7-carbazole-alt-5,5-(4′,7′-di-2-thienyl-2′,1′,3′-benzothiadiazole)] (PCDTBT):PC71BM OPVs with 17% improvement in short circuit current.

Graphical abstract: Reducing optical losses in organic solar cells using microlens arrays: theoretical and experimental investigation of microlens dimensions

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Nov 2014, accepted on 18 Dec 2014 and first published on 18 Dec 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4CP05221H
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Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015,17, 3723-3730
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    Reducing optical losses in organic solar cells using microlens arrays: theoretical and experimental investigation of microlens dimensions

    Y. Chen, M. Elshobaki, R. Gebhardt, S. Bergeson, M. Noack, J. Park, A. C. Hillier, K. Ho, R. Biswas and S. Chaudhary, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015, 17, 3723
    DOI: 10.1039/C4CP05221H

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