Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tiny gold particles boost organic solar cell efficiency: Plasmonic technique helps enhance power conversion by up to 20 percent

Date:
August 16, 2011
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Researchers have demonstrated how they inserted a gold nanoparticle layer between two subcells to combine the tandem cell strategy with the plasmonic effect -- a process that concentrates light via scattering from nanoparticles. As a result, a 20 percent improvement of power conversion efficiency has been attained by the light concentration of gold nanoparticles.

In the world of solar energy, organic photovoltaic solar cells have a wide range of potential applications, but they are still considered an upstart. While these carbon-based cells, which use organic polymers or small molecules as semiconductors, are much thinner and less expensive to produce than conventional solar cells made with inorganic silicon wafers, they still lag behind in their ability to efficiently convert sunlight into electricity.

Related Articles


Now, UCLA researchers and their colleagues from China and Japan have shown that by incorporating gold nanoparticles into these organic photovoltaics -- taking advantage of the plasmonic effect, by which metal helps to enhance the absorption of sunlight -- they can significantly improve the cells' power conversion.

In a paper recently published in ACS Nano, the team of researchers, led by Yang Yang, a professor of materials science and engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and director of the Nano Renewable Energy Center at UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute, demonstrate how they sandwiched a layer of gold nanoparticles between two light-absorbing subcells in a tandem polymer solar cell in order to harvest a greater fraction of the solar spectrum.

They found that by employing the interconnecting gold-nanoparticle layer, they were able to enhance power conversion by as much as 20 percent. The gold nanoparticles create a strong electromagnetic field inside the thin organic photovoltaic layers by a plasmonic effect, which concentrates light so that much more of it can be absorbed by the subcells.

The team is the first to report a plasmonic-enhanced polymer tandem solar cell, having overcome the difficulties involved in incorporating metal nanostructures into the overall device structure.

"We have successfully demonstrated a highly efficient plasmonic polymer tandem solar cell by simply incorporating gold nanoparticles layer between two subcells," Yang said. "The plasmonic effect happening in the middle of the interconnecting layer can enhance both the top and bottom subcells simultaneously -- a 'sweet spot' -- leading to an improvement in the power conversion efficiency of the tandem solar cell from 5.22 percent to 6.24 percent. The enhancement ratio is as high as 20 percent."

The research team included Xing Wang Zhang from the Key Lab of Semiconductor Materials Science at the Institute of Semiconductors at Beijing's Chinese Academy of Science and Ziruo Hong from the Graduate School of Science and Engineering at Japan's Yamagata University.

Experimental and theoretical results demonstrate that the enhancement effect was attained from local near-field enhancement of the gold nanoparticles. The results show that the plasmonic effect has great potential for the future development of polymer solar cells. The team's proposed interlayer structures as an open platform can be applied to various polymer materials, opening up opportunities for highly efficient, multi-stacked tandem solar cells.

The research was financially supported by grants from the U.S. Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation.

The team also included Jun Yang, Jingbi You, Chun-Chao Chen, and Wan-Ching Hsu of the UCLA Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the California NanoSystems Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. The original article was written by Jennifer Marcus. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jun Yang, Jingbi You, Chun-Chao Chen, Wan-Ching Hsu, Hai-ren Tan, Xing Wang Zhang, Ziruo Hong, Yang Yang. Plasmonic Polymer Tandem Solar Cell. ACS Nano, 2011; 110718133857056 DOI: 10.1021/nn202144b

Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Tiny gold particles boost organic solar cell efficiency: Plasmonic technique helps enhance power conversion by up to 20 percent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816162311.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2011, August 16). Tiny gold particles boost organic solar cell efficiency: Plasmonic technique helps enhance power conversion by up to 20 percent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816162311.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Tiny gold particles boost organic solar cell efficiency: Plasmonic technique helps enhance power conversion by up to 20 percent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816162311.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) A tech company in Spain have combined technology with cuisine to develop the 'Foodini', a 3D printer designed to print the perfect cookie for Santa. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Etihad Superjumbo Flight in December

First Etihad Superjumbo Flight in December

AFP (Dec. 18, 2014) The first flight of Etihad Airways' long-awaited Airbus A380 superjumbo will take place later in December, the Abu Dhabi carrier said Thursday, also announcing its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner route. Duration: 01:09 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ford Expands Air Bag Recall Nationwide

Ford Expands Air Bag Recall Nationwide

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The automaker added 447,000 vehicles to its recall list, bringing the total to more than 502,000. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins