Polymers in Solar Cells • Joshua Hufford • Bryan Orellana • Yunchao Li • McKay Barnett • Sameh Mehrez http://static.technorati.com/10/04/14/11757/solar-panels.jpg
Polymer Solar Cells First Generation • Single crystal silicon wafers Second Generation • Polycrystalline silicon • Amorphous silicon Third Generation Nanocrystal solar cells Polymer solar cells Fourth Generation Hybrid - inorganic crystals within a polymer matrix Single Crystal Silicon Wafer http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/images/G2243B.jpg Polycrystalline Silicon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cell
State-of-the-Art! • Use of polymers (i.e. PPV – Polyphenylene Vinylenes) with nanoparticles mixed together to make a single multispectrum layer • Inorganic hybrids that are used as the nano particles: • CdSe • Titania (Titanium oxide) • This new form creates a more effective transport for charges
State-of-the-Art! • Significant advances in hybrid solar cells have followed the development of elongated nanocrystal rodes and branched nano crystals • Increase surface area • Decreases resistance • Incorporation of larger nanostructures into polymers require optimization of blend morphology using solvent mixtures • This makes it easy to potentially make large rolls of thin, flexible polymer solar cells Mayer, A.
Where can you find Solar Cells? • Solar cells have many market opportunities • sustainable, reliable, and an economical source of power • Solar cells in space: • The international space station; four sets of arrays, each one has 250,000 solar cells that can power a small neighborhood. • Solar power plants in the Mojave Desert • 9 plants provides more power than what Saudi Arabia produces from oil every day • Cleaner, and more sustainable compared to oil. Image taken from www.space.com
Where can you find Solar Cells? • The first solar powered airplane • Flew for 26 continuous hours. • It was powered by 12,000 solar cells on its carbon fiber wings. • Powered solar vehicles • Residential roof solar panels.
Roadmap: Where are polymer solar cells going? • Converting some of the heat for an overall solar cell composite • More efficient and cheaper • Based on polymer solar cell and heterojunction technology
Roadmap: Where are polymer solar cells going? • Future advances will rely on new nanocrystals, such as titania, to replace fullerene derivatives. • Potential to enhance light absorption and further improve charge transport. • Increase efficiency while getting away from all organic solar cell polymers.
Conclusion • New innovations in polymeric materials and other nanoparticles are allowing for cheaper solar cells • Continued research will lead to more efficient cells • Cost effective, sustainable, ease of production, long lasting are key traits that make this technology increasingly plausible as a green replacement from present energy resources.
References: • https://scifinder.cas.org/scifinder/view/scifinder/scifinderExplore.jsf • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cell • Mayer, A., S. Scully, B. Hardin, M. Rowell, and M. Mcgehee. "Polymer-based Solar Cells." Materials Today 10.11 (2007): 28-33. Print.