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Electronic and Photonic Molecular Materials Group

department of physics and astronomy

Perovskite and Organic photovoltaics

Organic photovoltaic devices fabricated onto a flexible plastic substrate.
Fig 1: Organic photovoltaic devices fabricated onto a flexible plastic substrate (photo by Lucy Pickford).
Standard architecture perovskite photovoltaic devices.
Fig 2: Standard architecture perovskite photovoltaic devices.

Third generation thin-film photovoltaics (PV) are of significant interest for low-cost generation of solar electricity, as they potentially combine reduced embodied energy, with ease of manufacture using solution-based techniques. At Sheffield, we have a detailed research programme into the development of photovoltaics based on two main types of semiconducting materials (i) organo-metal halide perovkites and (ii) polymer:fullerene blends. In both cases, such materials can be coated onto a surface using solution-based techniques (including spray-coating), and then fabricated into a PV device. We are currently exploring a range of different new perovskite and organic semiconductor materials, with our objective being to optimise device efficiency, maximise device stability and to develop techniques appropriate for device scale-up and manufacture. In our research, we use a range of spectroscopic techniques to understand the electronic properties of the materials we develop, together with other structural probes (including X-ray scattering) to understand thin-film morphology over a range of length-scales.

We also have an outdoors testing facility at the Sheffield Solar Farm. This acts as a long-term testing environment for photovoltaic devices made in the laboratory. Three encapsulation chambers expose test devices to sunlight, whilst protecting them from moisture and oxygen in an inert nitrogen atmosphere.

Photo of hermetically sealed chambers protecting new photovoltaic devices while they undergo long-term testing by Ellie Scott.
Fig 3: Hermetically sealed chambers protect new photovoltaic devices while they undergo long-term testing at the Sheffield Solar farm. Photo by Ellie Scott, courtesy Ossila.

 

Selected publications

Light-Soaking-Free Inverted Polymer Solar Cells with an Efficiency of 10.5% by Compositional and Surface Modifications to a Low-Temperature-Processed TiO2 Electron-Transport Layer.
Light-Soaking-Free Inverted Polymer Solar Cells with an Efficiency of 10.5% by Compositional and Surface Modifications to a Low-Temperature-Processed TiO2 Electron-Transport Layer
Yu Yan, Feilong Cai, Liyan Yang, Jinghai Li, Yiwei Zhang, Fei Qin, Chuanxi Xiong, Yinhua Zhou, David G. Lidzey, Tao Wang
Advanced Materials, Volume 29, January 4 2017, 1604044
AFM cover: Mapping Morphological and Structural Properties of Lead Halide Perovskites.
Open Article: Mapping Morphological and Structural Properties of Lead Halide Perovskites by Scanning Nanofocus XRD
Samuele Lilliu, Thomas G. Dane, Mejd Alsari, Jonathan Griffin, Alexander T. Barrows, Marcus S. Dahlem, Richard H. Friend, David G. Lidzey, and J. E. Macdonald
Advanced Functional Materials, Volume 26, Issue 45, page 8221-8230, 12 October 2016

 

PCDTBT based solar cells: one year of operation under real-world conditions.
Open Article: PCDTBT based solar cells: one year of operation under real-world conditions
Yiwei Zhang, Edward Bovill, James Kingsley, Alastair R. Buckley, HunanYi, Ahmed Iraqi, Tao Wang & David G. Lidzey
Nature Scientific Reports, February 2016
Cover article: Polymer Solar Cells: Fabricating High Performance, Donor–Acceptor Copolymer Solar Cells by Spray-Coating in Air.
Cover Article: Polymer Solar Cells: Fabricating High Performance, Donor–Acceptor Copolymer Solar Cells by Spray-Coating in Air
Tao Wang, Nicholas W. Scarratt, Hunan Yi, Alan D. F. Dunbar, Andrew J. Pearson, Darren C. Watters, Tom S. Glen, Andrew C. Brook, James Kingsley, Alastair R. Buckley, Maximilian W. A. Skoda, Athene M. Donald, Richard A. L. Jones, Ahmed Iraqi and David G. Lidzey
Advanced Energy Materials, Volume 3, Issue 4, page 410, April 2013

 

Cover Article: Correlating Structure with Function in Thermally Annealed PCDTBT:PC70BM Photovoltaic Blends
Tao Wang, Andrew J. Pearson, Alan D. F. Dunbar, Paul A. Staniec, Darren C. Watters, Hunan Yi, Anthony J. Ryan, Richard A. L. Jones, Ahmed Iraqi and David G. Lidzey,
Advanced Functional Materials, Volume 22, Issue 7, pages 1399–1408, April 10, 2012
Efficient planar heterojunction mixed-halide perovskite solar cells deposited via spray-deposition
Alexander T. Barrows, Andrew J. Pearson, Chan Kyu Kwak, Alan D. F. Dunbar, Alastair R. Buckley and David G. Lidzey
Energy Environ. Sci., 2014, Volume 7, pages 2944-2950 (PDF compressed from original, 346kB)

 

High efficiency arrays of polymer solar cells fabricated by spray-coating in air
Yiwei Zhang, Jonathan Griffin, Nicholas W. Scarratt, Tao Wang and David G. Lidzey.
Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl. (2015) DOI: 10.1002/pip.2665.
Perovskite crystal structure.
The role of the hole-extraction layer in determining the operational stability of a polycarbazole:fullerene bulk-heterojunction photovoltaic device
E. Bovill, N. Scarratt, J. Griffin, H. Yi, A. Iraqi, A. R. Buckley, J. W. Kingsley, and D. G. Lidzey
Applied Physics Letters 106, 073301 (2015); doi: 10.1063/1.4909530

 

Links

Ossila - enabling innovative electronics (spin out company from the EPMM group)

Ahmed Iraqi's research group

The Polymer Centre

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