New Materials and Process for High Performance Organic Solar Cells

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Project Description

Successful commercialisation of organic solar cells requires a combination of high performance, stability, and low cost processing.  We have an active research program to address each of these requirements.  High efficiency materials design requires optimal light absorption across the solar spectrum, effective charge separation and photocurrent generation.  Our synthetic strategies are focussed on new electron donor and acceptor combinations which can accomplish this process efficiently, and one of our projects involves organic synthesis of new conjugated aromatic semiconducting materials.  The second project involves the characterisation of these materials using optical and electrical methods, as well as fabricating solar cell devices. Our development of a new isoindigo polymer has demonstrated a record power conversion efficiency of over 9% in a device without a thermal treatment processing step and without the use of additives in the formulation.  Reductions in processing energy and time are essential for this technology to be competitive as an energy source, therefore eliminating thermal treatment is an important achievement.  ​​​​​​
Program - Chemical Science
Division - Physical Sciences and Engineering
Center Affiliation - KAUST Solar Center
Field of Study - ​Chemistry

About the
Researcher

Iain McCulloch

Professor, Chemical Science<br/>Director, KAUST Solar Center

Iain McCulloch
​Professor McCulloch's research interests are in the design and synthesis of semiconducting small molecules and polymers for use in organic electronic devices. This has focused on the understanding and control of microstructure and energy levels in conjugated aromatic semiconducting polymers and the subsequent impact on device properties.