Navigation path

Countries


This page was published on 26/04/2011
Published: 26/04/2011

   Infocentre

Published: 26 April 2011  
Related category(ies):
Innovation  |  Energy  |  Industrial research

 

Add to PDF "basket"

Gold(en) boost for organic solar cells

A gold plated window as the transparent electrode for organic solar cells is now a reality thanks to a team of researchers from the University of Warwick in the UK. The upshot of this development, apart from its innovation, is that it could be relatively cheap because the gold used is just 8 billionths of a metre thick. Presented in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, the research was funded in part by a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant.

Warwick researchers and their result © Warwick U
Warwick researchers and their result
©  Warwick U

Scientists have traditionally depended on indium tin oxide (ITO) coated glass as the transparent electrode for organic solar cells, mostly because there is no other alternative. The problem with ITO is that not only is it a complex material, but it is unstable as well. It has a high surface roughness and the chances of it cracking once bent, if supported on a plastic substrate, are high. Making matters worse is that indium, the key element in ITO, is relatively short in supply and thus a costly component.

Experts have long recognised that an ultra—thin film of an air—stable metal like gold would be a good substitute for ITO. However, no one was able to generate such a thin film before, particularly one that is transparent yet resilient enough for use.

Dr Ross Hatton and Professor Tim Jones from the Department of Chemistry at Warwick and colleagues discovered how to generate a fast method for the preparation of robust, ultra—thin gold films on glass.

According to the team, this method could be expanded for use on large area applications including solar cells. The electrodes generated by this method are chemically well defined, they say.

'This new method of creating gold—based transparent electrodes is potentially widely applicable for a variety of large area applications, particularly where stable, chemically well—defined, ultra—smooth platform electrodes are required, such as in organic optoelectronics and the emerging fields of nanoelectronics and nanophotonics,' Dr Hatton says.

Not only have the researchers developed a complex—free, effective and practical method of depositing films onto glass, but they have succeeded in improving optical properties by perforating the film with small circular holes using polystyrene balls.

In a related development, the Warwick team has also deposited ultra—thin gold films directly on plastic substrates. Their work could lead to genuinely flexible solar cells in the future.


Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also

University of Warwick
Advanced Functional Materials





  Top   Research Information Center
 
Countries