OPV Research

Producing clean and efficient energy is a desire of the present and a need of the future. Photovoltaic panels are one of many technological solutions that meet this need. Organic photovoltaic panels (OPV) represent a further step in using light to produce power. Ensuring their long lifetime is the final step in making them economically competitive.

Low production costs, scalability, high power conversion efficiency, and excellent stability are required for a sustainable deployment of PV technology. In this regard, organic photovoltaics (OPV) is on the edge of a new era.
Organic solar cells can be manufactured in efficient, low-cost roll-to-roll processes, reaching up to 19% power conversion efficiency. The development of non-fullerene acceptors has led to remarkable improvements in OPV efficiencies, especially.
The last essential issue to be solved before the technology can be commercialized on a global scale is the still moderate stability of OPV, which limits its lifetime to a few years.

What has been done so far

Although progress has been made in understanding OPV degradation and improving device lifetimes, there is currently no clear and conclusive picture of the stability of organic photovoltaics, especially regarding the new, highly efficient materials developed in the last five years.

This mainly depends on the fact that overall device stability is a multivariate problem as various non-independent degradation factors (UV light, oxygen, water, temperature, time, current, voltage) interact with a set of chemically very different materials applied as thin layers (mostly below 100 nm, some even below 10 nm) with defined interfaces. This makes OPV a prime example of interdisciplinary research.

This Project

Due to the intrinsic multiparametric nature of the problem, this project has adopted a novel comprehensive strategy that includes high throughput schemes, big data analysis, multiscale characterization, and simulation.

The project aims to identify stable structural motifs and device architectures for efficient and stable organic photovoltaics by developing an in-depth understanding of the degradation mechanisms and stability-promoting factors of materials, interfaces, and morphology, elaborating tools to predict the stability of devices and develop strategies for durable organic solar cells.