Solution process easily fabricates ceramic films for organic solar cells

July 26, 2018
Buffer layers between the organic semiconductor layers can now be fabricated at room temperature and pressure.

Organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells have several advantages over silicon-based solar cells: they are lightweight and flexible and their production cost is low. For these reasons, they could become the next generation of PV cells.

In addition to organic semiconductors that absorb light, OPV cells require materials for buffer layers (buffer layers, or OPV inter-layers, efficiently separate electrons and holes produced from light energy and transport electrons and holes to each electrode). One fabrication approach that has caught the attention fo researchers is a spin-coating technique to create zinc-related oxide (ZnOx, ZnOHx) ultrathin films (ceramic films) using a solution.

OPV cells using ZnO thin films as buffer layers are actively being studied. In conventional production processes of ZnO thin films, a sintering process using high-temperature heating or alternative types of energy irradiation has been necessary.

Now, a joint group of researchers from Osaka University and Kanazawa University has developed a technique for coating zinc related oxide simply by depositing the films in a solution process using a metal organic decomposition (MOD) method at ambient temperature and pressure (no heating whatsoever). They also demonstrated that thin films produced by this technique were useful as buffer layers for OPV cells and that the films achieved a power-conversion efficiency (PCE) equivalent to that of ZnO thin films produced by conventional methods involving sintering.1

The thickness of this ultrathin film can be controlled within the range of 5 to 100 nm. OPV cells were created using this film-making technique, achieving the highest PCE using a film about 20 nm thick. The technique should drastically reduce production process complexity and cost.



1. Makoto Karakawa et al., Scientific Reports (2018);

About the Author

John Wallace | Senior Technical Editor (1998-2022)

John Wallace was with Laser Focus World for nearly 25 years, retiring in late June 2022. He obtained a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Rutgers University and a master's in optical engineering at the University of Rochester. Before becoming an editor, John worked as an engineer at RCA, Exxon, Eastman Kodak, and GCA Corporation.

Sponsored Recommendations

Next generation tunable infrared lasers

Nov. 28, 2023
Discussion of more powerful and stable quantum cascade tunable infrared lasers, applications, and test results.

What AI demands mean for data centers

Nov. 28, 2023
The 2023 Photonics-Enabled Cloud Computing Summit assembled by Optica took an aggressive approach to calling out the limitations of today’s current technologies.

SLP feature for lighting control available on cameras offering

Nov. 28, 2023
A proprietary structured light projector (SLP) feature is now available on the company’s camera series, including the ace 2, boost R, ace U, and ace L.

Chroma Customer Spotlight - Dr. David Warshaw, About his Lab

Nov. 27, 2023
David Warshaw, Professor and Chair of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Vermont (UVM), walks us through his lab. Learn about his lab’s work with the protein...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!