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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.

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Polymers in solar cells
Polymers in Solar Cells

  • Joshua Hufford

  • Bryan Orellana

  • Yunchao Li

  • McKay Barnett

  • Sameh Mehrez


Polymer solar cells
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


Polycrystalline Silicon


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 art1

  • 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
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 cells1
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
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 going1
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.


  • 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.


  • 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.