Loss Mechanisms In Non-Fullerene Organic Solar Cells

Abstract: Photovoltaics are one of the most important sustainable energy sources in the 21st century. Among photovoltaics, organic solar cells (OSCs) offer many advantages such as ease of processing, lightweight, the potential for flexibility, and tunable properties. Its peculiar nature and complexity present a fascinating charm, attracting many researchers. Thanks to researchers' efforts, the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of OSCs has been boosted from 1% to 19% during the last three decades. Despite the exciting PCE, some problems remain to be solved, for example, the large voltage loss and long-term stability. The aim of this thesis is to understand the fundamental physics of the state-of-the-art OSCs, especially the loss mechanism. Ultimately, properly understanding the mechanisms will sever as the basis of OSCs further improvements and commercialization. This work focuses on the loss mechanisms of OSCs, particularly the open-circuit voltage and the fill factor. The beginning of this thesis introduces basic concepts regarding semiconductors physics and donor-acceptor OSCs. This part explains how a photon is used to generate electricity and the fundamentals of organic electronics. Subsequently, the detailed balance in a solar cell is reviewed, which is the basis of voltage loss analysis. In this part, we see how the input, recombination, and output form a balance. Then, the way to determine the voltage loss is shown, and the latest understandings in reducing the loss are reviewed. The fill factor, as a measure of the quality of a solar cell, is a complex parameter, especially in OSCs.The latter part of this thesis starts from the photophysical processes in an OSC, and then relates intrinsic parameters to the fill factor. The figure of merits has been employed to express the fill factor analytically. In the end, experimental methods and basic principles for the previous analysis are introduced, including Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, the external quantum efficiency of photovoltaics (EQEPV), spectrograph for electroluminescence or photoluminescence, transient absorption, and time-delayed collection field. Overall, the thesis combined thermal dynamics and charge dynamics to analyze voltage losses and fill factor losses. The author hopes this work can contribute to a better understanding of the loss mechanisms OSCs.

  This dissertation MIGHT be available in PDF-format. Check this page to see if it is available for download.