Ningbo Materials Institute has made progress in the research of ultra-light and ultra-flexible organic solar cells

Lightweight and flexible organic solar cells (OSCs) are one of the ideal choices for a new generation of power sources, especially for wearable electronic systems (such as electronic textiles and synthetic skin). The high extinction coefficient and good ductility of organic photovoltaic materials allow cells to become very thin (usually below 300 nm), and have good compatibility with ultra-thin plastic substrates. The continuous emergence of new materials and new processes has rapidly improved the energy conversion efficiency (PCE) of rigid OSCs, but the development of ultra-thin and ultra-light OSCs still lags behind, limiting their unique advantages in mechanical flexibility. Introducing a third component material with ductility into the active layer or increasing the amorphous region of the blend film through a ternary strategy is conducive to the dissipation of mechanical stress in the device, thereby simultaneously improving the PCE and mechanical flexibility of the device.

Recently, Ge Ziyi's team, a researcher at Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, based on the previous research on high-efficiency and flexible organic solar cells (Nature Photonics, 2015, 9, 520; Advanced Materials, 2018, 30, 1800075; Advanced Materials, 2019 , 31, 201902210; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2020, 59, 2808.), made progress in the field of high-efficiency and ultra-light OSCs, and obtained 15.5% efficiency based on ultra-thin plastic substrate and ternary blending strategy The ultra-light and super-flexible OSCs prototype device is one of the highest efficiencies of similar OSCs currently publicly reported. Without packaging, when the weight per unit area is 4.83gm-2, the power per unit weight reaches 32.07Wg-1, which is one of the highest power per unit weight of ultra-thin flexible batteries currently publicly reported.

Researchers have introduced the isotropic third component PC71BM receptor into the binary system of polymer donor D18-Cl and receptor Y6 to regulate the morphology and light absorption of the ternary system. The study found that the introduction of PC71BM guest in amorphous conformation can weaken the crystallization and aggregation of Y6 acceptor, thereby reducing the rigidity and brittleness of the blended film. The increase in the ductility of the active layer is beneficial to improve the mechanical flexibility of the flexible device. Based on the ternary active layer of D18-Cl:Y6:PC71BM, the introduction of PC71BM enhances the light absorption of the film in the range of 300nm to 500nm, and improves the photovoltaic performance of the device. The thin and flexible OSCs prepared on the ultra-thin plastic substrate have achieved a stable efficiency of 15.5%. Without packaging, the power per unit weight of 4.83gm-2 reaches 32.07Wg-1. After 800 consecutive stretch-compression cycles, it can still maintain 83% of the initial PCE, which is very important for being able to withstand random wrinkle deformation without damaging the flexible device.

The related research results are titled Crumple Durable Ultraflexible Organic Solar Cells with an Excellent Power-per-Weight Performance and published on Advanced Functional Materials.

Ultra-thin flexible organic solar cell device structure and JV curve

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