Currently, polymer and organic solar cells are made using time-consuming and often toxic methods, and use expensive elements in low abundance such as indium-tin-oxide (ITO) and silver electrodes.
Now, scientists in Denmark have developed a solar cell stack that comprises four printed and coated layers using fully automated processing, which is free from ITO and silver.
They have moved the field from rigid, ITO single cells, made using slow vacuum and spin-coating methods, to build flexible modular solar cells, free from ITO, made by full roll-to-roll processing, which is fully scalable.
The performance of the modules is qualitatively similar to ITO based devices – but reducing cost by a factor of >10 and increasing processing speed by a factor of >10.
Read the EES ‘hot article’ hot off the press:
All printed transparent electrodes through an electrical switching mechanism: A convincing alternative to indium-tin-oxide, silver and vacuum
T T Larsen-Olsen et al, Energy Environ. Sci., 2012, DOI: 10.1039/c2ee23244h