A team of University of Texas at Dallas researchers has discovered a “recipe” to increase the efficiency of solar cells made from organic materials. Organic solar cells (OSCs) could reduce the cost of solar panels because they are made with organic polymers and molecules instead of silicon.
|From left: Dr. Julia W.P. Hsu, Aaron Kramer MS’18, PhD’22 and Dr. William Vandenberghe explored how dilute-donor organic solar cells work and how to advance the technology.|
Organic solar cells, which are more flexible and lightweight than silicon panels, are made of two materials: One is an electron donor, and the other is an electron acceptor.
While more research needs to be done to make organic solar cells viable, the UTD team’s findings advance a less understood property of organic solar cell technology called the fill factor, the ratio of the amount of power the cell could theoretically obtain to the actual current.