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Flexible optoelectronics yields cheaper solar cells, LEDs

Posted: 19 Mar 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:flexible electronics  roll-to-roll  solar cell  LED  perovskite 

"Ironing" the rough electrode surface

All these electrode technologies suffer, however, to some extent from waviness or roughness and require a flattening layer to allow defect-free deposition of optoelectronic device stacks. That's why the researchers set out to develop yet another electrode technology, which uses thin silver (Ag) films sandwiched between two metal oxide (MO) layers. These films turned out to be much flatter.

MO/Ag/MO electrode stacks provide a sheet resistance of 6Ω/square with an optical transmission of 85 per cent and allowed the construction of more efficient optoelectronic devices compared to the other electrode technologies, which is due, at least in part, to the low peak-to-valley roughness of about 20 nm.

With these ultra-flat electrodes record efficiencies of up to 7 per cent were obtained for organic solar cells using commercially available materials for light harvesting. Using the very same electrode materials, the team achieved 17lm/W for the production of white light organic LEDs (OLEDs) and more than 20lm/W for organic light-emitting electrochemical cells (OLECs).

Flexible solar cells

Novel transparent electrodes for flexible solar cells developed by the TREASORES consortium do not require scarce elements such as indium. One example is conductive fabric electrodes developed by Empa and Sefar AG. (Source: Empa)

Although not quite record values for flexible OLED and OLEC devices, Nüesch stressed that "all electrodes were produced by an R2R process in an industrial environment or with industrially relevant processes on large areas of the polymer substrate. We can thus say that the processes we used are robust and reproducible."

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