To achieve a high living standard for all people on Earth access to low cost energy is essential. The massive burning of fossil fuels must be drastically reduced if we are to avoid large changes of our climate. Solar cells are both technologically mature and have the potential to meet the huge demand for renewable energy in many countries. The prices for silicon solar cells have decreased rapidly during the course of this thesis and are now in grid parity in many countries.
However, the potential for even lower energy costs has driven the research on polymer solar cells, a class of thin film solar cells. Polymer solar cells can be produced by roll to roll printing which potentially enables truly low cost solar cells. However, much research and development remain to reach that target.
Polymer solar cells consist of a semiconducting composite material sandwiched between two electrodes, of which one is transparent, to let the light energy in to the semiconductor where it is converted to electric energy. The semiconductor comprise an intimate blend of polymer and fullerenes, where the nanostructure of this blend is crucial for the photo current extraction.
To reach higher solar cell performance the dominating strategy is development and fine tuning of new polymers. To estimate their potential as solar cell materials their optical response have been determined by spectroscopic ellipsometry. Furthermore, optical simulations have been performed where the direction dependency of the optical response of the transparent electrode material PEDOT:PSS have been accounted for. The simulations show reduced electrode losses for light incident at large oblique angles.
Moreover, we have shown that a gentle annealing of the active layer induces a local conformational changes of an amorphous polymer that is beneficial for solar cell performance. The active layer is deposited from solution where the drying kinetics determine the final nanostructure. We have shown that using in-situ photoluminescence phase separation can be detected during the drying process while a reflectance method have been developed to image lateral variations of solvent evaporation rate.
Imaging methods are important tools to detect performance variations over the solar cell area. For this purpose an intermodulation based photo current imaging method have been developed to qualitatively differentiate the major photo current loss mechanisms. In addition, a 1D LED-array photo current imaging method have been developed and verified for high speed in-line characterization of printed organic solar modules.
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. , 60 p.
Hoppe, Harald, Dr.
The corrections in the published errata list are implemented in the electronic version.