Small Molecule Inks Providing Photovoltaic Functionality in Thin Films

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Flexible plastic solar cells that mimic the mechanism of photosynthesis can be fabricated using soluble organic semiconductors. These devices have the potential to be fabricated using solution deposition methods and therefore may provide economically more viable alternatives to current technologies. The ICB team focuses on ink formulation to control different components in the light-absorbing layer to generate electricity.

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Plastic semiconductors can be used to fabricate solar cells that absorb energy from sunlight and convert it directly into electrical power. If the efficiency of these devices can be sufficiently increased, this technology will provide the opportunity to fabricate economically viable, light-weight, flexible, shock resistant and portable energy sources. The ICB effort focuses on understanding how the nanoscale arrangement of the components in the light-absorbing and electricity-generating layer can be controlled to attain maximum efficiency and the relationship between ink formation, film morphology and device performance.

University: 

UCSB

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