Special Issue "Advances in Organic and Perovskite Solar Cells"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 February 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Juan Luis Delgado
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
POLYMAT, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU University of the Basque Country, Joxe Mari Korta Center - Avda. Tolosa, 7220018, Donostia-San Sebastian (SPAIN)
Tel. +34 943 50 60 64
Interests: Organic Solar Cells; Perovskite Solar Cells; Donor or Acceptor Polymers;Donor or Acceptor Small Organic Molecules;Novel Devices Architectures; Stability; Hole Transporting Layers (HTLs); Electron Transporting Layers (ETLs)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Organic Solar Cells (OSCs) represent an outstanding class of photovoltaic technology, which has the potential to provide good Power Conversion Efficiencies (PCE), employing cheap, easily tunable polymeric or small molecule organic materials. In addition, these materials are compatible with industrial processes, thus, indicating potential low-cost upscaling. During the last few decades, a great deal of research has shed light on the operation principles of OSCs and has allowed the optimization of materials and devices. Thus, ten years ago, highly-efficient devices were obtained by employing blends of low-bandgap polymers and PCBM.  Nowadays, the employment of non-fullerene acceptors in blends with donor polymers has allowed the obtention of a PCE over 13% (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139 , 7148–7151). Perovskite-based solar cells, have revolutionized the photovoltaic field in the last ten years. An impressive leap in PCE from 3% in 2009 to 23% in 2018 has attracted the attention of many researchers and industries, which are now fully devoted to the optimization of the stability of these interesting devices.

In this Special Issue, we would like to cover all important aspects concerning OSCs or PSCs, including novel materials, photopysical investigations, stability measurements, or innovations in device architectures.

It is my pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue. Full papers, communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Prof. Juan Luis Delgado
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Organic Solar Cells
  • Perovskite Solar Cells
  • Donor or Acceptor Polymers
  • Donor or Acceptor Small Organic Molecules
  • Novel Devices Architectures
  • Stability
  • Hole Transporting Layers (HTLs)
  • Electron Transporting Layers (ETLs)

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessCommunication
Plasma-Exposure-Induced Mobility Enhancement of LiTFSI-Doped Spiro-OMeTAD Hole Transport Layer in Perovskite Solar Cells and Its Impact on Device Performance
Materials 2019, 12(19), 3142; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12193142 - 26 Sep 2019
Abstract
2,2′,7,7′-Tetrakis(N,N-di-p-methoxyphenyl-amine)-9,9′-spirobifluorene (spiro-OMeTAD) film currently prevails as hole transport layer (HTL) employed in perovskite solar cells (PSCs). However, the standard preparation method for spin-coated, Lithium bis(trifluoromethylsulfony) imide (LiTFSI)-doped, spiro-OMeTAD HTL depends on a time-consuming and uncontrolled oxidation process to gain [...] Read more.
2,2′,7,7′-Tetrakis(N,N-di-p-methoxyphenyl-amine)-9,9′-spirobifluorene (spiro-OMeTAD) film currently prevails as hole transport layer (HTL) employed in perovskite solar cells (PSCs). However, the standard preparation method for spin-coated, Lithium bis(trifluoromethylsulfony) imide (LiTFSI)-doped, spiro-OMeTAD HTL depends on a time-consuming and uncontrolled oxidation process to gain desirable electrical conductivity to favor device operation. Our previous work demonstrated that ~10 s oxygen or oxygen containing gas discharge plasma exposure can oxidize spiro-OMeTAD HTL effectively and make PSCs work well. In this communication, hole-only devices are fabricated and in-situ current density-voltage measurements are performed to investigate the change in hole mobility of LiTFSI-doped spiro-OMeTAD films under plasma exposure. The results reveal that hole mobility values can be increased averagely from ~5.0 × 10−5 cm2V−1s−1 to 7.89 × 10−4 cm2V−1s−1 with 7 s O2 plasma exposure, and 9.33 × 10−4 cm2V−1s−1 with 9 s O2/Ar plasma exposure. The effects on the photovoltaic performance of complete PSC devices are examined, and optical emission spectroscopy (OES) is used for a diagnostic to explain the different exposure effects of O2 and O2/Ar plasma. High efficiency, fine controllability and good compatibility with current plasma surface cleaning techniques may make this method an important step towards the future commercialization of photovoltaic technologies employing spiro-OMeTAD hole transport material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Organic and Perovskite Solar Cells)
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Open AccessCommunication
Enhanced Open-Circuit Voltage in Perovskite Solar Cells with Open-Cage [60]Fullerene Derivatives as Electron-Transporting Materials
Materials 2019, 12(8), 1314; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12081314 - 23 Apr 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The synthesis, characterization, and incorporation of open-cage [60]fullerene derivatives as electron-transporting materials (ETMs) in perovskite solar cells (PSCs) with an inverted planar (p-i-n) structure is reported. Following optical and electrochemical characterization of the open-cage fullerenes 2ac, p-i-n PSCs with a [...] Read more.
The synthesis, characterization, and incorporation of open-cage [60]fullerene derivatives as electron-transporting materials (ETMs) in perovskite solar cells (PSCs) with an inverted planar (p-i-n) structure is reported. Following optical and electrochemical characterization of the open-cage fullerenes 2ac, p-i-n PSCs with a indium tin oxide (ITO)/poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS)/perovskite/fullerene/Ag structure were prepared. The devices obtained from 2ab exhibit competitive power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) and improved open-circuit voltage (Voc) values (>1.0 V) in comparison to a reference cell based on phenyl-C61-butyric-acid methyl-ester (PC61BM). These results are rationalized in terms of a) the higher passivation ability of the open-cage fullerenes with respect to the other fullerenes, and b) a good overlap between the highest occupied molecular orbital/lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (HOMO/LUMO) levels of 2ab and the conduction band of the perovskite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Organic and Perovskite Solar Cells)
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Open AccessArticle
Light Management Enhancement for Four-Terminal Perovskite-Silicon Tandem Solar Cells: The Impact of the Optical Properties and Thickness of the Spacer Layer between Sub-Cells
Materials 2018, 11(12), 2570; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11122570 - 17 Dec 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Mechanical stacking of a thin film perovskite-based solar cell on top of crystalline Si (cSi) solar cell has recently attracted a lot of attention as it is considered a viable route to overcome the limitations of cSi single junction power conversion efficiency. Effective [...] Read more.
Mechanical stacking of a thin film perovskite-based solar cell on top of crystalline Si (cSi) solar cell has recently attracted a lot of attention as it is considered a viable route to overcome the limitations of cSi single junction power conversion efficiency. Effective light management is however crucial to minimize reflection or parasitic absorption losses in either the top cell or in the light in-coupling of the transmitted light to the bottom sub-cell. The study here is focused on calculating an optimum performance of a four-terminal mechanically stacked tandem structure by varying the optical property and thickness of the spacer between top and bottom sub-cells. The impact of the nature of the spacer material, with its refractive index and absorption coefficient, as well as the thickness of that layer is used as variables in the optical simulation. The optical simulation is done by using the transfer matrix-method (TMM) on a stack of a semi-transparent perovskite solar cell (top cell) mounted on top of a cSi interdigitated back contact (IBC) solar cell (bottom cell). Two types of perovskite absorber material are considered, with very similar optical properties. The total internal and external short circuit current (Jsc) losses for the semitransparent perovskite top cell as a function of the different optical spacers (material and thickness) are calculated. While selecting the optical spacer materials, Jsc for both silicon (bottom cell) and perovskite (top cell) were considered with the aim to optimize the stack for maximum overall short circuit current. From these simulations, it was found that this optimum in our four-terminal tandem occurred at a thickness of the optical spacer of 160 nm for a material with refractive index n = 1.25. At this optimum, with a combination of selected semi-transparent perovskite top cell, the simulated maximum overall short circuit current (Jsc-combined, max) equals to 34.31 mA/cm2. As a result, the four-terminal perovskite/cSi multi-junction solar cell exhibits a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 25.26%, as the sum of the perovskite top cell PCE = 16.50% and the bottom IBC cSi cell PCE = 8.75%. This accounts for an improvement of more than 2% absolute when compared to the stand-alone IBC cSi solar cell with 23.2% efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Organic and Perovskite Solar Cells)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Ammonium Halide Additives on the Performance of Methyl Amine Based Perovskite Solar Cells
Materials 2018, 11(8), 1417; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11081417 - 13 Aug 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
CH3NH3PbI3-xClx species were fabricated as light-absorbing layers for perovskite solar cells (PSCs), by employing NH4I, NH4Br, and NH4Cl as additives via annealing at 100 °C for different times. Solutions containing [...] Read more.
CH3NH3PbI3-xClx species were fabricated as light-absorbing layers for perovskite solar cells (PSCs), by employing NH4I, NH4Br, and NH4Cl as additives via annealing at 100 °C for different times. Solutions containing CH3NH3I, PbI2, and PbCl2 (4:1:1 molar ratio) in N,N-dimethylformamide were used to prepare perovskites with NH4I, NH4Br, and NH4Cl as additives, at concentrations of 0.1 M and 0.3 M. The additives helped increase the grain size and reduce pinholes in the perovskite films, as confirmed by field-emission scanning electron microscopy. The X-ray diffraction profiles of CH3NH3PbI3-xClx clearly showed peaks at 14° and 28° for the samples with additives, indicative of crystallinity. The best PSC performance with a power conversion efficiency of 9.13%, was achieved using 0.1 M NH4I by annealing for 5 min, whereas the power conversion efficiency of the perovskite solar cells without additives was 5.40%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Organic and Perovskite Solar Cells)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Natural Dyes and Their Derivatives Integrated into Organic Solar Cells
Materials 2018, 11(12), 2579; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11122579 - 18 Dec 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Natural photosynthetic systems contain several dyes such as carotenoids or chlorophylls which are adequately arranged to produce efficient photoinduced charge separation and electron transfer. Several research groups have attempted integrating these natural dyes and photosynthetic systems into functional organic solar cells (OSCs) producing [...] Read more.
Natural photosynthetic systems contain several dyes such as carotenoids or chlorophylls which are adequately arranged to produce efficient photoinduced charge separation and electron transfer. Several research groups have attempted integrating these natural dyes and photosynthetic systems into functional organic solar cells (OSCs) producing power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) up to 0.99%. The studies presented in this short review emphasize that functionalization of natural dyes can considerably improve their PCEs. For instance, chlorophyll derivatives can yield PCEs up to 2.1%, and copolymers produced with isoindigo as an electron-deficient unit generate high PCEs up to 8%, respectively, when combined with fullerene C70 based electron acceptors in the OSC active layers. An alternative approach for natural dye integration into OSC architectures is to place these light-harvesting antennas at the interface between the active layer and the charge collection layers in these low-cost photovoltaic devices. This strategy produces large PCE increases up to 35% with respect to OSCs prepared without the interlayer. When light-harvesting systems are combined with silver nanoprisms as interlayers, additional localized surface plasmon resonance effects result in high-performance OSCs that integrate natural photosynthetic systems and demonstrate a PCE over the milestone value of 10%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Organic and Perovskite Solar Cells)
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Other

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Open AccessLetter
Investigation on the Overshoot of Transient Open-Circuit Voltage in Methylammonium Lead Iodide Perovskite Solar Cells
Materials 2018, 11(12), 2407; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11122407 - 29 Nov 2018
Abstract
Although the performance of hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite solar cells (PSCs) is encouraging, the detailed working principles and mechanisms of PSCs remain to be further studied. In this work, an overshoot phenomenon of open-circuit voltage (Voc) was observed when the illumination [...] Read more.
Although the performance of hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite solar cells (PSCs) is encouraging, the detailed working principles and mechanisms of PSCs remain to be further studied. In this work, an overshoot phenomenon of open-circuit voltage (Voc) was observed when the illumination light pulse was switched off. The evolution of the Voc overshoot was systematically investigated along with the intensity and the width of the light pulse, the background illumination, and pretreatment by different bias. Based on the experimental results, we could conclude that the Voc overshoot originated from carrier motion against carrier collection direction, which happened at the ionic-accumulation-induced band bending areas near the interfaces between the perovskite active layer and the two carrier transport layers. The investigation on the Voc overshoot can help us to better understand ionic migration, carrier accumulation, and recombination of PSCs under open-circuit conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Organic and Perovskite Solar Cells)
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