Iowa State and Ames Lab Discover Way to Develop More Efficient Polymer Solar Cells

Process involves producing a thin and uniform light-absorbing layer to increase light absorption
The creation of the thin and replicable layer results is a polymer solar cell that captures more light within its ridges. Tests conducted by the research teams showed that their light-trapping cells increased power conversion efficiency by 20% when compared to flat solar cells made from polymers. In the past, researchers have tried textured substrates in polymer solar cells, but have not been successful because the cells required extra processing steps, or they faced technical challenges in relation to the coating technologies. Dr. Sumit Chaudhary, an Iowa State assistant professor and associate of the Ames Laboratory, serves as the lead researcher on the project. The Iowa State University Research Foundation has filed a patent for the technology, and is seeking to license it out to manufacturers of solar cells.

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