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Thin Film Solar Cells: Organic, Inorganic and HybridThin film solar cells are an important developing resource for hundreds of applications including space travel. In addition to being more cost effective than traditional single crystal silicon cells, thin film multi-crystaline cells are plastic and light weight. The plasticity of the cells allows for whole solar panels to be rolled out from reams. Organic layers are being investigated in order to increase the efficiency of the cells to create an organic / inorganic hybrid cell. The main focus of the group is a thin film inorganic cell made with the absorber CuInS2. So far the group has been successful in creating the layer from a single-source precursor. They also use a unique method of film deposition called chemical vapor deposition for this. The general makeup of the cell is a molybdenum back contact with the CuInS2 layer, then CdS, ZnO and aluminum top contacts. While working cells have been produced, the efficiency so far has been low. Along with quantum dot fabrication the side project of this that is currently being studied is adding a polymer layer to increase efficiency. The polymer that we are using is P3OT (Poly(3-octylthiopene-2,5-diyll), retroregular). Before (and if) it is added to the cell, it must be understood in itself. To do this simple diodes are being constructed to begin to look at its behavior. The P3OT is spin coated onto indium tin oxide and silver or aluminum contacts are added. This method is being studied in order to find the optimal thickness of the layer as well as other important considerations that may later affect the composition of the finished solar cell. Because the sun is the most abundant renewable, energy source that we have, it is important to learn how to harness that energy and begin to move away from our other depleted non-renewable energy sources. While traditional silicon cells currently create electricity at relatively high efficiencies, they have drawbacks such as weight and rigidness that make them unattractive especially for space applications. Thin film photovoltaics have the potential to alleviate these problems and create a cheap and efficient way to harness the power of the sun.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Dankovich, John
(Case Western Reserve Univ. OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Research Symposium I
Subject Category
Nonmetallic Materials
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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