According to new research, within a polymer-based solar cell, the speed of movement of energy particles towards the interface of the donor and acceptor domains of the solar cell can be observed. The faster this movement occurs, the more energy is produced.
Previous studies suggest that pure donor and acceptor layers would ensure unimpeded movement of excitons, allowing solar cells to capture the most energy.
However, according to Harald Ade, one of the members of the research team at North Carolina State, the morphology and structure of the mixing domains does not affect the efficiency of the solar cell. In fact, it is more important to note the role of additives that account for the impurity of the layers.
During the manufacturing process of the cells, the rate of evaporation of these additives is what controls the formation of the active layer as well as the mixing between the domains. In their study, the team utilized an additive that could slow down the evaporation, and controlled the size of the active layer. Although they allowed mixing, the cells still had a surprisingly good efficiency.
The team is still on the look for the perfect mix of solvents and additives that can be used in producing polymer-based solar cells. The initial findings can be read soon in two journals- Advance Energy Materials and Advanced Materials.