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Taiwan Tech Develops Polymeric Material Which Reduces Solar Cell and OLED Costs

 

April 3rd, 2018 Wanted Daily

Li You-Shan

 

Breakthrough in electrode buffer layer materials! The team led by Liaw Der-Jang, Chair Professor in Taiwan Tech’s Department of Chemical Engineering, has successfully developed a polymeric material which can be utilized for either anode or cathode electrodes and can increase solar cell and OLED efficiency. In addition, it can help simplify the manufacturing process and reduce costs. The research result has been published in the international journal Energy and Environmental Science (EES).

 

Founded by the UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry, Energy and Environmental Science is an international journal for the publication of research in areas such as biochemistry, biophysics and chemical engineering. Of special note, it is ranked number one among journals in the field of energy, environmental science and chemical engineering with significant global influence.

 

This research has been jointly published by Liaw Der-Jang, Chair Professor in Taiwan Tech’s Department of Chemical Engineering, Professor Tai Yian, also in the Taiwan Tech Department of Chemical Engineering, Taiwan Tech doctoral students Zhang Qiang and Wang Wei-Ting, as well as Professor Michael Zharnikov of Heidelberg University, Germany. This is the first time a buffer layer material has been developed which can be used for both cathode and anode electrodes. This innovative approach can be applied to solar cell power generation and light emitting diodes (OLEDs), which will help advance the development of solar power and FPC boards for mobile devices.

 

According to Liaw Der-Jang, the electrode buffer layer is an organic photoelectric component and is a key structure of solar cells and OLEDs. It can connect cathode and anode electrodes with organic semi-conductors. The buffer layer material can enhance the performance of organic photoelectric components. In the past, scientists had to look for two different materials as the anode and cathode buffer layers of a photovoltaic component, which not only added to the costs of materials but also complicated the manufacturing processes of the components.

 

Taiwan Tech’s research team was the first to propose an innovative concept to develop a novel copolymer material. This material alone can be used as a cathode and an anode buffer layer, respectively. It has been successfully applied to high-performance organic hybrid Perovskite solar cells, organic polymer solar cells, and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) as the cathode and anode buffer layers of the components. The research result has been published in top international journals, and the team has also obtained patents in Taiwan and the U.S.

 

The research team stated that anodes and cathodes are of opposite polarities. Normally, they require buffer layers of different materials to be able to conduct separately. The team has successfully developed an innovative polymer material whose properties are changed by means of solvents, making it both hydrophilic and hydrophobic. The hydrophobic surface is used for conductive holes while the hydrophilic surface is used for electron conductors. This universal material can be used for both types of electrode buffer layers, which will help simplify the manufacturing process of solar cells and furthermore reduce costs.

 

Taiwan Tech's research result will help to simplify the manufacturing process of solar cells and OLEDs, thereby reducing manufacturing costs and improving efficiency. There will be positive impacts for the future development of solar energy sources as well as the development of applications for smartphones, tablets, wearable devices and other OLED boards.

 

 (Wanted Daily)

  • A Taiwan Tech research team has successfully developed a polymeric material which can reduce the cost of solar cells and OLEDs. The research result has been published in the international journal Energy and Environmental Science. Image source: http://pubs.rsc.org
    A Taiwan Tech research team has successfully developed a polymeric material which can reduce the cost of solar cells and OLEDs. The research result has been published in the international journal Energy and Environmental Science. Image source: http://pubs.rsc.org
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