Four-terminal tandem organic solar cell achieves 16,94% efficiency

Four-terminal tandem organic solar cell achieves 16,94% efficiency

Technology News |
By Wisse Hettinga

Researchers at ICFO have fabricated a new four-terminal organic solar cell with a tandem configuration with a 16.94% power conversion efficiency (PCE). The new device is composed by a highly transparent front cell that incorporates a transparent ultrathin silver (Ag) electrode of only 7nm, which ensures its efficient operation


Twoterminal tandem organic solar cells (OSCs) represent one of the most promising approaches to address the transmission and thermalization losses in single-junction solar cells. These organic solar cells consist of front and rear subcells with varying bandgaps, enabling broader absorption and use of the solar spectrum. However, achieving optimal performance in such configurations demands a sufficient current balance between the two subcells. Moreover, fabricating tandem organic solar cells of these types are challenging because they need a robust interconnection layer capable of facilitating efficient charge recombination while maintaining high transparency.

The fourterminal tandem configuration has emerged as a highly efficient alternative strategy in solar cell design. Unlike the two-terminal approach, this configuration features separate electrical connections for the transparent front cell and the opaque back cell. Consequently, the issue of electrical current matching is no longer a limiting factor. This setup enables greater flexibility in selecting the bandgaps of each cell of the tandem, thereby optimizing photon absorption and enhancing the overall efficiency of solar energy production.

“The development of a transparent silver intermediate electrode is crucial for the efficient operation of the solar cell. It must present a delicate balance, being transparent enough to allow light to reach the back cell while maintaining high electrical conductivity to ensure the optimal performance of the front cell”, said Francisco Bernal, ICFO researcher and first author of the study. “Being able to fabricate an electrode of only 7nm without observing losses in the front transparent cells is a significant advancement in the field of transparent cells”.

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