SEP 09, 2020 7:09 AM PDT

Photovoltaic paint has endless potential

A team from the Photo-electronic Hybrids Research Center of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has developed a high-efficiency large-area organic photovoltaics that can be applied as a paint to any surface. Their achievements, published in Nano Energy, open the doors to promoting low-cost eco-friendly energy, whether its on buildings, cars, or pavement.

Organic photovoltaics refer to solar cells that are manufactured with carbon-based conductive light-absorbing organic materials. Led by Dr. Hae Jung Son, the research team on the project identified a new solution process that controls the velocity of film formation of the solar cells’ raw materials, allowing the researchers to determine the speed at which the materials solidify. This was the key to switching from a small area to a large area of organic solar cells.

Dr. Son said, "The core design principles of solar cell materials capable of high-quality large-area using the solution will accelerate the development of solution-processable solar cells in the future. [This study] has contributed to not only raising the efficiency of next-generation solution-processable solar cells but also the development of core technology for manufacturing large-area solar cell materials required for commercialization."

Solution processable solar cell are solar cells that are manufactured by low-cost coating or printing using an ink-type organic precursor, instead of a high-cost vacuum process. In this process, the coated photoactive area of the cell generates energy that can be used to power whatever an individual may need.

The genius behind the KIST team’s research was combining a method known as spin-coating, which is traditionally used only on the small-scale laboratory level of manufacturing with large-area organic photovoltaics. As mentioned above, they did this by controlling the solvent evaporation rate following the coating step in order to manage the film formation speed and ultimately optimize solar cell energy generation.

The result showed a high-efficiency large-area organic photovoltaics that is among the highest performing of its kind, with up to 30% higher power conversion efficiency. The researchers hope that their methods can act as guidelines for the development of more high-efficiency large-area organic photovoltaics that could serve to bring cheap and easy-to-install electricity to energy-poor locations.

Sources: Nano Energy, Eureka Alert

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUL 23, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Lab Tests Show Levels of THC Can Rise in CBD Oil During Storage
JUL 23, 2020
Lab Tests Show Levels of THC Can Rise in CBD Oil During Storage
To be federally legal in all states CBD (cannabidiol) oil must contain less than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive ingredi ...
AUG 04, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
They're Serious: Ig Nobel-Inspired Researchers Re-examined Penguin's Bodily Fluid Dynamics
AUG 04, 2020
They're Serious: Ig Nobel-Inspired Researchers Re-examined Penguin's Bodily Fluid Dynamics
If this year has been nothing but stress and you are looking for a venue for some "serious" laughter, this is ...
SEP 06, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The fluid dynamics of pelagic snails' movement
SEP 06, 2020
The fluid dynamics of pelagic snails' movement
Warm water pelagic snails don’t get much attention, but they certainly should. The snails move between ocean surfa ...
SEP 10, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Reprogramming Virus to Build Better Li-ion Batteries
SEP 10, 2020
Reprogramming Virus to Build Better Li-ion Batteries
There's no doubt that the word "virus" is currently on everyone's mind. However, there's a lot mor ...
SEP 14, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Using a laser to cool a polyatomic molecule has never been done before - until now
SEP 14, 2020
Using a laser to cool a polyatomic molecule has never been done before - until now
Scientists from Harvard have devised a technique that allows them to slow down a polyatomic molecule using a laser. This ...
SEP 18, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Molecule take images of itself with its own electrons
SEP 18, 2020
Molecule take images of itself with its own electrons
A new study published in Physical Review Letters highlights the development of an approach to observe time-dependent cha ...
Loading Comments...