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As the importance of renewable energy sources becomes more and more apparent, look to our top-quality journals for cutting-edge reports on solar cell and photovoltaic research.

In May 2007 the Institute for Scientific Information listed the Top 20 Most Cited Papers on Solar Cells, with papers published in Advanced Functional Materials number one on both lists:

Most cited paper (1997-2007):

Most cited paper (2005-2007):

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Solution-Processable Hyperbranched Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles Based on C3h-Symmetric Benzotrithiophene for Polymer Solar Cells

Solution‐Processable Hyperbranched Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles Based on C3h‐Symmetric Benzotrithiophene for Polymer Solar Cells

C3h-symmetric benzotrithiophene-based hyperbranched conjugated polymer nanoparticles (BTT-HCPNs) with tunable particle sizes are prepared via Stille miniemulsion polymerization for the first time. Comparing with the corresponding star-shaped small molecule (C3h-BTT core with three diketopyrrolopyrrole arms), solution-processable BTT-HCPNs show redshifted and broader absorption spectra and narrower bandgaps, leading to higher power conversion efficiencies for solar cells based on BTT-HCPNs/PC71BM.

[Communication]
Xiaofu Wu, Zijian Zhang, Hao Hang, Yonghong Chen, Yuxiang Xu, Hui Tong, Lixiang Wang
Macromol. Rapid Commun., February 21, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/marc.201700001. Read article

High-Performance Porphyrin-Based Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells with Iodine and Cobalt Redox Shuttles

High‐Performance Porphyrin‐Based Dye‐Sensitized Solar Cells with Iodine and Cobalt Redox Shuttles

Shuttle service: The improvement of the flexibility of the choice of electrolyte with a co-sensitizer is a significant issue for the development of dye-sensitized solar cells. Co-sensitization is used in this study to compensate the UV/Vis adsorption spectra and change the charge recombination inhibition significantly. High power conversion efficiencies of 10.21 and 10.42 %, respectively, are obtained for electrolytes based on iodine and cobalt redox shuttles.

[Full Paper]
Huaide Xiang, Wei Fan, Jia Hui Li, Tianyue Li, Neil Robertson, Xiongrong Song, Wenjun Wu, Zhaohui Wang, Weihong Zhu, He Tian
ChemSusChem, February 21, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201601617. Read article

Improving Perovskite Solar Cells: Insights From a Validated Device Model

Improving Perovskite Solar Cells: Insights From a Validated Device Model

A numerical model is developed and validated that describes the operation of perovskite solar cells and quantitatively explains the role of contacts, the charge transport layers, charge generation, drift and diffusion of carriers and recombination. By doing so, a unique set of material parameters and physical processes is identified that describes these solar cells. To increase their performance, some guidelines are issued.

[Full Paper]
Tejas S. Sherkar, Cristina Momblona, Lidón Gil-Escrig, Henk J. Bolink, L. Jan Anton Koster
Adv. Energy Mater., February 21, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201602432. Read article

Carbon-Based Perovskite Solar Cells without Hole Transport Materials: The Front Runner to the Market?

Carbon‐Based Perovskite Solar Cells without Hole Transport Materials: The Front Runner to the Market?

Carbon-based perovskite solar cells without hole transport materials (C-PSCs) have been widely recognized to be the front runner to the market because of their obviously higher stability among various PSCs. The recent progress of C-PSCs is reviewed and their unique features are highlighted. Furthermore, some promising strategies are suggested to further promote the commercialization of C-PSCs.

[Review]
Haining Chen, Shihe Yang
Adv. Mater., February 21, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201603994. Read article

A General Strategy to Enhance the Performance of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells by Incorporating a Light-Harvesting Dye with a Hydrophobic Polydiacetylene Electrolyte-Blocking Layer

A General Strategy to Enhance the Performance of Dye‐Sensitized Solar Cells by Incorporating a Light‐Harvesting Dye with a Hydrophobic Polydiacetylene Electrolyte‐Blocking Layer

New roles for dyes: A new dipolar organic dye functionalized with a diacetylene unit is capable of undergoing a photoinduced crosslinking reaction to generate a hydrophobic polydiacetylene layer. This unique strategy effectively suppresses charge recombination and enhances light harvesting in dye-sensitized solar cells (see figure; WE=working electrode, CE=counter electrode).

[Full Paper]
Mekonnen Abebayehu Desta, Chia-Wei Liao, Shih-Sheng Sun
Chem. Asian J., February 17, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/asia.201601722. Read article

Additive-Free Organic Solar Cells with Power Conversion Efficiency over 10%

Additive‐Free Organic Solar Cells with Power Conversion Efficiency over 10%

Organic photovoltaic devices with PThBDTP as donor and PC71BM as acceptor are fabricated, and a power conversion efficiency of over 10% is achieved without resorting to any additives and post treatments.

[Communication]
Hui Li, Dan He, Peng Mao, Yuanzhi Wei, Liming Ding, Jizheng Wang
Adv. Energy Mater., February 17, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201602663. Read article

Combining Energy Transfer and Optimized Morphology for Highly Efficient Ternary Polymer Solar Cells

Combining Energy Transfer and Optimized Morphology for Highly Efficient Ternary Polymer Solar Cells

Ternary polymer solar cells based on PTB7-Th:PffBT4T-2OD:PC71BM are designed according to the complementary properties of PTB7-Th and PffBT4T-2OD. The highest efficiency of 10.72% for this ternary system is achieved with 15% PffBT4T-2OD. As for the working mechanism, this ternary system paves the way to investigate the morphology–performance relationship. Moreover, the energy transfer is involved in ternary blend.

[Full Paper]
Fuwen Zhao, Yang Li, Zaiyu Wang, Yang Yang, Zhen Wang, Guiying He, Jianqi Zhang, Li Jiang, Taishan Wang, Zhixiang Wei, Wei Ma, Bao Li, Andong Xia, Yongfang Li, Chunru Wang
Adv. Energy Mater., February 17, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201602552. Read article

Charge Transfer from Methylammonium Lead Iodide Perovskite to Organic Transport Materials: Efficiencies, Transfer Rates, and Interfacial Recombination

Charge Transfer from Methylammonium Lead Iodide Perovskite to Organic Transport Materials: Efficiencies, Transfer Rates, and Interfacial Recombination

The dynamics of charge transfer from CH3NH3PbI3 to charge-specific transport materials are revealed using time-resolved microwave conductivity measurements and a global kinetic model. Hence, the authors find that the transfer rates to C60, PCBM, EDOT-OMeTPA, and Spiro-OMeTAD are sufficient to outcompete other recombination pathways at excitation densities representative for AM1.5, while this is not the case for bis-PCBM, ICBA, and H101.

[Full Paper]
Eline M. Hutter, Jan-Jaap Hofman, Michiel L. Petrus, Michiel Moes, Ruben D. Abellón, Pablo Docampo, Tom J. Savenije
Adv. Energy Mater., February 17, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201602349. Read article

Effect of Polymer–Fullerene Interaction on the Dielectric Properties of the Blend

Effect of Polymer–Fullerene Interaction on the Dielectric Properties of the Blend

The relationship between the dielectric constant and the device performance is investigated in polymer solar cells. The increase in the dielectric constant observed upon polymer–fullerene blending correlates well with device performance, in contrast to the pristine polymer dielectric constant. More importantly, the increase in excited state polarizability upon blending is a key indicator of device performance and is responsible for efficient charge transfer.

[Full Paper]
Iordania Constantinou, Xueping Yi, Nathan T. Shewmon, Erik D. Klump, Cheng Peng, Sofia Garakyaraghi, Chi Kin Lo, John R. Reynolds, Felix N. Castellano, Franky So
Adv. Energy Mater., February 17, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201601947. Read article

21.63% industrial screen-printed multicrystalline Si solar cell

21.63% industrial screen‐printed multicrystalline Si solar cell

Multicrystalline silicon is the dominant material for solar cell manufacturing due to its cheap production cost. Despite impressive technological progresses over the last few years, the practical efficiency limit for multicrystalline silicon solar cells remains unknown. In this Letter, Zheng et al. present industry-grade multicrystalline silicon solar cells with efficiency >21.5%, based on a passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) structure and optimized processing conditions for multicrystalline silicon.

[Rapid Research Letter]
P. Zheng, J. Xu, H. Sun, F. Zhang, Y. Guo, H. Pan, K. S. Chan, J. Jin, H. Wang, W. Chen, X. Zhang, H. Jin
Phys. Status Solidi RRL, February 14, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/pssr.201600453. Read article

Carbon-Nanodot Solar Cells from Renewable Precursors

Carbon‐Nanodot Solar Cells from Renewable Precursors

Biomaterials-to-nanomaterials for solar energy: Carbon nanodots synthesised by hydrothermal method from a wide range of biomaterials are used as sensitisers for TiO2-based nanostructured solar cells, and their performance is analysed and compared. l-arginine carbon nanodots used as sensitisers show the highest solar power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 0.36 %, whereas carbon nanodots from lobster shells show a PCE of 0.22 %.

[Full Paper]
Adam Marinovic, Lim S. Kiat, Steve Dunn, Maria-Magdalena Titirici, Joe Briscoe
ChemSusChem, February 14, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201601741. Read article

Controlled Deposition and Performance Optimization of Perovskite Solar Cells Using Ultrasonic Spray-Coating of Photoactive Layers

Controlled Deposition and Performance Optimization of Perovskite Solar Cells Using Ultrasonic Spray‐Coating of Photoactive Layers

Spray-coating for solar cells: This study investigates new a film-deposition technique, ultrasonic spray-coating, for use in the production of a photoactive layer of a perovskite solar cell through manipulating the ink formulation and the drying kinetics. The performance of the perovskite solar cells was mainly influenced by the intrinsic film morphology and crystalline orientation of the deposited perovskite layer.

[Full Paper]
Wei-Chieh Chang, Ding-Hung Lan, Kun-Mu Lee, Xiao-Feng Wang, Cheng-Liang Liu
ChemSusChem, February 14, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201601711. Read article

Metal Acetylacetonate Series in Interface Engineering for Full Low-Temperature-Processed, High-Performance, and Stable Planar Perovskite Solar Cells with Conversion Efficiency over 16% on 1 cm2 Scale

Metal Acetylacetonate Series in Interface Engineering for Full Low‐Temperature‐Processed, High‐Performance, and Stable Planar Perovskite Solar Cells with Conversion Efficiency over 16% on 1 cm2 Scale

A series of metal acetylacetonates produced by a full low-temperature (below 100 °C) process are successfully employed to obtain both “multistable” and high-performance planar-inverted perovskite solar cells. All the three kinds of champion cells in small area exhibit over 18% in conversion-efficiency with negligible hysteresis, along with above 16% in conversion-efficiency for planar PSCs in an aperture area of over 1 cm2.

[Communication]
Wei Chen, Leiming Xu, Xiyuan Feng, Jiansheng Jie, Zhubing He
Adv. Mater., February 14, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201603923. Read article

Beyond Donor–Acceptor (D–A) Approach: Structure–Optoelectronic Properties—Organic Photovoltaic Performance Correlation in New D–A1–D–A2 Low-Bandgap Conjugated Polymers

Beyond Donor–Acceptor (D–A) Approach: Structure–Optoelectronic Properties—Organic Photovoltaic Performance Correlation in New D–A1–D–A2 Low‐Bandgap Conjugated Polymers

New low bandgap conjugated polymers have been developed based on the D–A1–D–A2 approach. Systematic studies provide the first insights into how the nature of the monomers used to synthesize these new D–A1–D–A2 low bandgap copolymers adjust the maximum absorption wavelengths, the optical and electrochemical bandgaps, the ionization potential and the electron affinity, and finally the organic photovoltaic performances.

[Communication]
Christos L. Chochos, Sofia Drakopoulou, Athanasios Katsouras, Benedetta M. Squeo, Christian Sprau, Alexander Colsmann, Vasilis G. Gregoriou, Alex-Palma Cando, Sybille Allard, Ullrich Scherf, Nicola Gasparini, Negar Kazerouni, Tayebeh Ameri, Christoph J. Brabec, Apostolos Avgeropoulos
Macromol. Rapid Commun., February 13, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/marc.201600720. Read article

Conjugated-Polymer Blends for Organic Photovoltaics: Rational Control of Vertical Stratification for High Performance

Conjugated‐Polymer Blends for Organic Photovoltaics: Rational Control of Vertical Stratification for High Performance

Vertical stratification of the electron donor and acceptor components in bulk heterojunction photovoltaic blends can happen during their film-formation process after solution casting and the subsequent post-treatment process, and can significantly influence device efficiency of organic solar cells through its impact on the effective charge transport and collection.

[Review]
Yu Yan, Xuan Liu, Tao Wang
Adv. Mater., February 13, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201601674. Read article

Unveiling a Key Intermediate in Solvent Vapor Postannealing to Enlarge Crystalline Domains of Organometal Halide Perovskite Films

Unveiling a Key Intermediate in Solvent Vapor Postannealing to Enlarge Crystalline Domains of Organometal Halide Perovskite Films

MA2Pb3I8(DMSO)2 intermediate is identified and tracked during the methylammonium lead triiodide thin-film anneal process under dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) solvent vapor, which helps to reduce the activation energy of perovskite grain boundary migration. Leveraging this mechanism, an MABr/DMSO mix vapor anneal method is developed to further facillitate grain goundary migration to achieve 17.64% efficiency in NiO-based inverted perovskite solar cell.

[Full Paper]
Shuang Xiao, Yang Bai, Xiangyue Meng, Teng Zhang, Haining Chen, Xiaoli Zheng, Chen Hu, Yongquan Qu, Shihe Yang
Adv. Funct. Mater., February 10, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201604944. Read article

Efficient and Flexible Thin Film Amorphous Silicon Solar Cells on Nanotextured Polymer Substrate Using Sol–gel Based Nanoimprinting Method

Efficient and Flexible Thin Film Amorphous Silicon Solar Cells on Nanotextured Polymer Substrate Using Sol–gel Based Nanoimprinting Method

High-performance thin-film amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells have been fabricated on polyimide (PI) foils with periodic metal oxide nanopatterns via nanoimprinting lithography. It is found that properly designed nanohole substrates can significantly improve film quality, robustness, flexibility, and device efficiency due to the reduced interface stress and broadband-enhanced light harvesting capability.

[Full Paper]
Chi Zhang, Ye Song, Min Wang, Min Yin, Xufei Zhu, Li Tian, Hui Wang, Xiaoyuan Chen, Zhiyong Fan, Linfeng Lu, Dongdong Li
Adv. Funct. Mater., February 10, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201604720. Read article

High-Performance Organic Solar Cells Based on a Non-Fullerene Acceptor with a Spiro Core

High‐Performance Organic Solar Cells Based on a Non‐Fullerene Acceptor with a Spiro Core

Up the junction: Bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells based on PTB7-Th:SCPDT-PDI4 with 2 % DIO additive show a high performance with a power conversion efficiency (PCE) up to 7.11 % (PTB7-Th=poly[4,8-bis(5-(2-ethylhexyl)thiophen-2-yl)benzo[1,2-b;4,5-b′]dithiophene-2,6-diyl-alt-(4-(2-ethylhexyl)-3-fluorothieno[3,4-b]thiophene-)-2-carboxylate-2-6-diyl)], SCPDT=4,4′-spirobi[cyclopenta[2,1-b;3,4-b′]dithiophene], PDI=perylenediimide, DIO=1,8-diiodooctane).

[Communication]
Hua Sun, Po Sun, Cong Zhang, Yingguo Yang, Xingyu Gao, Fei Chen, Zongxiang Xu, Zhi-Kuan Chen, Wei Huang
Chem. Asian J., February 07, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/asia.201601741. Read article

Lead–Sulfide–Selenide Quantum Dots and Gold–Copper Alloy Nanoparticles Augment the Light-Harvesting Ability of Solar Cells

Lead–Sulfide–Selenide Quantum Dots and Gold–Copper Alloy Nanoparticles Augment the Light‐Harvesting Ability of Solar Cells

A moment in the sun: Lead–sulfide–selenide (PbSSe) quantum dots and gold–copper (AuCu) alloy nanoparticles are incorporated into a cadmium sulfide (CdS)/titanium oxide (TiO2) photoanode for the first time to achieve enhanced conversion of solar energy into electricity. The TiO2/PbSSe/CdS/AuCu cell delivers the highest power conversion efficiency (η) of 5.26 % among the various photoanode compositions used.

[Article]
Aparajita Das, Melepurath Deepa, Partha Ghosal
ChemPhysChem, February 06, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/cphc.201601284. Read article

Sensitizers for Aqueous-Based Solar Cells

Sensitizers for Aqueous‐Based Solar Cells

A sensitive subject: Organic sensitizers (D-π-A; D=donor, π=π-conjugated spacer, A=acceptor), inorganic quantum-dot (QD) sensitizers, and redox mediators for aqueous solar cells are reviewed.

[Focus Review]
Chun-Ting Li, Ryan Yeh-Yung Lin, Jiann T. Lin
Chem. Asian J., February 03, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/asia.201601627. Read article

A Low Resistance Calcium/Reduced Titania Passivated Contact for High Efficiency Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells

A Low Resistance Calcium/Reduced Titania Passivated Contact for High Efficiency Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells

A novel passivated contact on crystalline silicon comprised of calcium and reduced titania is shown to result in a reduction in contact resistivity by up to two orders of magnitude compared to other titania-based contacts to crystalline silicon. This enables the fabrication of a first-of-its-kind passivated contact n-type c-Si PERC cell with an efficiency of 21.8%.

[Full Paper]
Thomas G. Allen, James Bullock, Quentin Jeangros, Christian Samundsett, Yimao Wan, Jie Cui, Aïcha Hessler-Wyser, Stefaan De Wolf, Ali Javey, Andres Cuevas
Adv. Energy Mater., February 03, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201602606. Read article

Controlling Nucleation and Growth of Metal Halide Perovskite Thin Films for High-Efficiency Perovskite Solar Cells

Controlling Nucleation and Growth of Metal Halide Perovskite Thin Films for High‐Efficiency Perovskite Solar Cells

A fractional substitution of PbI2 in the mixed-halide precursor (3MAI:PbCl2) has a profound impact upon the crystallization process and on the as crystallized film morphology and electronic properties. The “structurally improved” film delivers a J–V measured power conversion efficiency of 19.1%.

[Full Paper]
Nobuya Sakai, Zhiping Wang, Victor M. Burlakov, Jongchul Lim, David McMeekin, Sandeep Pathak, Henry J. Snaith
Small, February 02, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/smll.201602808. Read article

Using Ultralow Dosages of Electron Acceptor to Reveal the Early Stage Donor–Acceptor Electronic Interactions in Bulk Heterojunction Blends

Using Ultralow Dosages of Electron Acceptor to Reveal the Early Stage Donor–Acceptor Electronic Interactions in Bulk Heterojunction Blends

Ultralow dosages of fullerene in bulk heterojunction are used to reveal the early stage electronic donor–acceptor interactions. Before percolation occurs, fullerene docks with polymer backbone and acts as electron traps. It increases electron trap density and lowers the electron mobility. The fill factors of the corresponding photovoltaic devices are found to anticorrelate with the trap density.

[Full Paper]
Carr Hoi Yi Ho, Sin Hang Cheung, Ho-Wa Li, Ka Lok Chiu, Yuanhang Cheng, Hang Yin, Mau Hing Chan, Franky So, Sai-Wing Tsang, Shu Kong So
Adv. Energy Mater., February 02, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201602360. Read article

Polymer Electron Acceptors Based on Iso-Naphthalene Diimide Unit with High LUMO Levels

Polymer Electron Acceptors Based on Iso‐Naphthalene Diimide Unit with High LUMO Levels

1,2,5,6-naphthalenediimide (iso-NDI) unit is used to develop a series of polymer electron acceptors with high-lying LUMO energy level. The replacement of 1,4,5,8-NDI unit by 1,2,5,6-NDI unit in polymer electron acceptors leads to open-circuit voltage enhancement of ≈0.3 V in all-polymer solar cells.

[Full Paper]
Sheng Zhang, Jun Liu, Yanchun Han, Lixiang Wang
Macromol. Chem. Phys., January 31, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/macp.201600606. Read article

Supercapacitive Photo-Bioanodes and Biosolar Cells: A Novel Approach for Solar Energy Harnessing

Supercapacitive Photo‐Bioanodes and Biosolar Cells: A Novel Approach for Solar Energy Harnessing

The concept of supercapacitive photo-bioanode and biosolar cell (photo-biosupercapacitor) for simultaneous solar energy conversion and storage is demonstrated for the first time. Exploiting the capacitive component significantly improves the electron transfer processes and allows the achievement of a current density of 280 µA cm−2 in the pulse mode.

[Communication]
Galina Pankratova, Dmitry Pankratov, Kamrul Hasan, Hans-Erik Åkerlund, Per-Åke Albertsson, Dónal Leech, Sergey Shleev, Lo Gorton
Adv. Energy Mater., January 31, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201602285. Read article

Triphenylamine Based Random Copolymers: The Effect of Molecular Weight on Performance of Solar Cell and Optoelectronic Properties

Triphenylamine Based Random Copolymers: The Effect of Molecular Weight on Performance of Solar Cell and Optoelectronic Properties

Two donor–acceptor-type conjugated random copolymers consisting of triphenylamine (TPA), 1,2,3-benzotriazole, and thiophene derivatives are synthesized. The optoelectronic and photovoltaic properties of PBTP1 and PBTP2 are compared. PBTP1 is composed of TPA, thiophene, and 2-dodecyl-2H-benzo[d][1,2,3]triazole 2-dodecyl-4,7-di(thiophen-2-yl)-2H-benzo[d][1,2,3]triazole whereas PBTP2 has 2-dodecyl-4,7-di(thiophen-2-yl)-2H-benzo[d][1,2,3]triazole, TPA, and thiophene. Bulk heterojunction organic solar cells are fabricated using the polymers.

[Full Paper]
Seza Goker, Serife O. Hacioglu, Gonul Hizalan, Ece Aktas, Ali Cirpan, Levent Toppare
Macromol. Chem. Phys., January 30, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/macp.201600544. Read article

Effect of Precursor Solution Aging on the Crystallinity and Photovoltaic Performance of Perovskite Solar Cells

Effect of Precursor Solution Aging on the Crystallinity and Photovoltaic Performance of Perovskite Solar Cells

A direct correlation between precursor aging time and crystalline quality of hybrid perovskite-based thin films is discovered and systematically elucidated. Progressive aging of precursor results in a pinhole-free thin film with optimal phase purity that results in high-efficiency planar solar cells.

[Full Paper]
Hsinhan Tsai, Wanyi Nie, Yen-Hao Lin, Jean Christophe Blancon, Sergei Tretiak, Jacky Even, Gautam Gupta, Pulickel M. Ajayan, Aditya D. Mohite
Adv. Energy Mater., January 30, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201602159. Read article

Implementation of Single-Walled Carbon Nanohorns into Solar Cell Schemes

Implementation of Single‐Walled Carbon Nanohorns into Solar Cell Schemes

Research on nanocarbon-based DSSCs is on the rise. SWCNHs stand out given their unique production, functionalization, and dispersibility. They are applied as i) SWCNH/dye hybrids, ii) buffer layers, iii) active components in photo- and counter electrodes, and iv) additives in solid-state electrolytes. This review summarizes the recent achievements concerning their use with respect to those realized with other nanocarbons.

[Review]
Fabian Lodermeyer, Rubén D. Costa, Dirk M. Guldi
Adv. Energy Mater., January 30, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201601883. Read article

Large-Grain Formamidinium PbI3–xBrx for High-Performance Perovskite Solar Cells via Intermediate Halide Exchange

Large‐Grain Formamidinium PbI3–xBrx for High‐Performance Perovskite Solar Cells via Intermediate Halide Exchange

Deliberate halide exchange between unstable intermediate HPbI2Br and nonstoichiometric FAI is employed to produce high-quality FAPbI3–xBrx (x ≈ 0.44), which eliminates the use of antisolvent dripping and other post-treatment techniques. The obtained perovskite thin film demonstrates high crystallinity and a large and compact crystal domain up to 2–3 µm. The corresponding device shows power conversion efficiency of up to around 19.0%, with reliable stability and reproducibility.

[Communication]
Mingzhu Long, Tiankai Zhang, Wangying Xu, Xiaoliang Zeng, Fangyan Xie, Qiang Li, Zefeng Chen, Fengrui Zhou, Kam Sing Wong, Keyou Yan, Jianbin Xu
Adv. Energy Mater., January 30, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201601882. Read article

Engineering Processes at the Interface of p-Semiconductor for Enhancing the Open Circuit Voltage in p-Type Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Engineering Processes at the Interface of p‐Semiconductor for Enhancing the Open Circuit Voltage in p‐Type Dye‐Sensitized Solar Cells

It is demonstrated that the open circuit voltage (Voc) in p-type dye sensitized solar cells is heavily limited by interfacial charge recombination and consequently that higher Voc values above 100 mV and as high as 500 mV can be attained with conventional materials (NiO and electrolytes) if the deleterious interfacial charge recombination reactions can be decreased.

[Full Paper]
Ludovic Favereau, Yann Pellegrin, Lionel Hirsch, Adèle Renaud, Aurélien Planchat, Errol Blart, Guy Louarn, Laurent Cario, Stéphane Jobic, Mohammed Boujtita, Fabrice Odobel
Adv. Energy Mater., January 30, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201601776. Read article

Simultaneous Substitution of Silicon and Fluorine Atom on Donor–Acceptor Copolymers for Photovoltaic Applications

Simultaneous Substitution of Silicon and Fluorine Atom on Donor–Acceptor Copolymers for Photovoltaic Applications

In this article, all of the three synthesized polymers display wide UV–vis absorptions ranging from 300 to 1100 nm and relatively low band gaps. Both silole-containing copolymers exhibit higher hole mobilities than those of the 4,4-diethylhexyl-cyclopenta[2,1-b:3,4-b′]dithiophene-containing polymer and poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl). The photovoltaic performance of fluorinated polymer is significantly improved due to the increased J sc and enhanced V oc.

[Full Paper]
Shang-Cyuan Huang, Chien-Hsin Yang, Yao-Yuan Chuang, Tzong-Liu Wang
Macromol. Chem. Phys., January 27, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/macp.201600410. Read article

Understanding the Role of the Electron-Transport Layer in Highly Efficient Planar Perovskite Solar Cells

Understanding the Role of the Electron‐Transport Layer in Highly Efficient Planar Perovskite Solar Cells

Layer by layer: The role of the electron-transport layer (ETL) in perovskite solar cells is investigated. An ET barrier tends to exist when a perovskite/PCBM/Ag structure is used and results in a poor fill factor (FF). Introduction of a thin bathocuproine (BCP) interlayer (see figure) increases the interface inversion and raises the FF from 56 to 76 %. PCBM: (6,6)-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (ETL).

[Article]
Jiang Liu, Gang Wang, Kun Luo, Xulin He, Qinyan Ye, Cheng Liao, Jun Mei
ChemPhysChem, January 27, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/cphc.201601245. Read article

Surprising Effects upon Inserting Benzene Units into a Quaterthiophene-Based D-A Polymer–Improving Non-Fullerene Organic Solar Cells via Donor Polymer Design

Surprising Effects upon Inserting Benzene Units into a Quaterthiophene‐Based D‐A Polymer–Improving Non‐Fullerene Organic Solar Cells via Donor Polymer Design

Benzene units are inserted into the backbone of a quaterthiophene-based polymer named PffBT4T, and the resulting polymer, PffBT4T-B, exhibits remarkably tight alkyl chain interdigitation, which can expel the ITIC-Th molecules from the polymer domains thus forming more pure and crystalline ITIC-Th domains. As a result, PffBT4T-B-based non-fullerene organic solar cells achieve a high power conversion efficiency of 9.4%.

[Communication]
Shangshang Chen, Huatong Yao, Zhengke Li, Omar M. Awartani, Yuhang Liu, Zheng Wang, Guofang Yang, Jianquan Zhang, Harald Ade, He Yan
Adv. Energy Mater., January 27, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201602304. Read article

Chemical Vapor Deposition of Perovskites for Photovoltaic Application

Chemical Vapor Deposition of Perovskites for Photovoltaic Application

Recently, the cost-effective tubular chemical vapor deposition has been successfully introduced into the fabrication of perovskite solar cells and emerged as a promising technology for their future mass production. Herein, recent progress in the fields of material preparation, characterization, property and application are discussed.

[Research News]
Paifeng Luo, Shengwen Zhou, Wei Xia, Jigui Cheng, Chengxi Xu, Yingwei Lu
Adv. Mater. Interfaces, January 27, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/admi.201600970. Read article

Interface Engineering of a Compatible PEDOT Derivative Bilayer for High-Performance Inverted Perovskite Solar Cells

Interface Engineering of a Compatible PEDOT Derivative Bilayer for High‐Performance Inverted Perovskite Solar Cells

An anode interface engineering with excellent compatible poly(3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene) derivative bilayer via a low-temperature, water-soluble process is presented. Through the combination of tune energy level, optical properties, and trap passivation effect of grafted sulfonated-acetone-formaldehyde lignin at the hole transport layer/perovskite interface, the bilayer can greatly enhance the charge extraction and reduce the interface recombination rate. The device with remarkable power conversion efficiency up to 17.78% is achieved.

[Full Paper]
Xichang Bao, Junyi Wang, Yuan Li, Dangqiang Zhu, Ying Wu, Peipei Guo, Xuefei Wang, Yongchao Zhang, Jiuxing Wang, Hin-Lap Yip, Renqiang Yang
Adv. Mater. Interfaces, January 27, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/admi.201600948. Read article

Trade-Offs in Thin Film Solar Cells with Layered Chalcostibite Photovoltaic Absorbers

Trade‐Offs in Thin Film Solar Cells with Layered Chalcostibite Photovoltaic Absorbers

High-throughput combinatorial experiments reveal current/voltage trade-offs in chalcostibite (CuSbSe2) thin film solar cells. The stronger optical absorption and weaker electrical transport in this layered absorber material lead to drift-dominated operation of the photovoltaic device approaching 5% efficiency. To further improve the efficiency, longer carrier diffusion and better electrical contacts are needed.

[Full Paper]
Adam W. Welch, Lauryn L. Baranowski, Haowei Peng, Hannes Hempel, Rainer Eichberger, Thomas Unold, Stephan Lany, Colin Wolden, Andriy Zakutayev
Adv. Energy Mater., January 25, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201601935. Read article

Energy Level Tuning of Poly(phenylene-alt-dithienobenzothiadiazole)s for Low Photon Energy Loss Solar Cells

Energy Level Tuning of Poly(phenylene‐alt‐dithienobenzothiadiazole)s for Low Photon Energy Loss Solar Cells

By introducing electron withdrawing substituents the photon energy loss in polymer–fullerene solar cells based on poly(phenylene-alt-dithienobenzothiadiazole)s can be reduced to below 0.5 eV, while still providing appreciable charge generation. The highest power conversion efficiency, however, is found for a derivative with a photon energy loss close to 1.0 eV because of an optimized morphology.

[Full Paper]
Ruurd Heuvel, Jacobus J. van Franeker, René A. J. Janssen
Macromol. Chem. Phys., January 24, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/macp.201600502. Read article

Evolution of Hot Polaron States with a Nanosecond Lifetime in a Manganite Perovskite

Evolution of Hot Polaron States with a Nanosecond Lifetime in a Manganite Perovskite

Ultrafast optical pumpprobe experiments in the manganite Pr0.65Ca0.35MnO3 reveal a hot polaron state with ultraslow recombination dynamics on a nanosecond time scale in the charge-ordered phase. This long living excitation gives rise to a pronounced photovoltaic effect in heterojunctions. The strong correlation between excited polarons and cooperative octahedral dynamics appears to be substantial for stabilizing the hot polaron.

[Full Paper]
Dirk Raiser, Stephanie Mildner, Benedikt Ifland, Mohsen Sotoudeh, Peter Blöchl, Simone Techert, Christian Jooss
Adv. Energy Mater., January 24, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201602174. Read article

Improving the Quality of the Si/Cu2O Interface by Methyl-Group Passivation and Its Application in Photovoltaic Devices

Improving the Quality of the Si/Cu2O Interface by Methyl‐Group Passivation and Its Application in Photovoltaic Devices

The best power conversion efficiency for a silicon/(copper oxide) heterojunction is achieved as a result of passivating the silicon surface. Passivation with methyl groups suppresses the formation of interfacial defects as the copper-oxide layer is deposited. The resulting air-stable photovoltaic device reaches a PCE of 6.02%.

[Full Paper]
Zhimin Liang, Yu Wang, Mingze Su, Wenjie Mai, Jianbin Xu, Weiguang Xie, Pengyi Liu
Adv. Mater. Interfaces, January 20, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/admi.201600833. Read article

Tuning the Electron-Transport and Electron-Accepting Abilities of Dyes through Introduction of Different π-Conjugated Bridges and Acceptors for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Tuning the Electron‐Transport and Electron‐Accepting Abilities of Dyes through Introduction of Different π‐Conjugated Bridges and Acceptors for Dye‐Sensitized Solar Cells

Meaningful prediction: A series of dyes containing thiophene and thieno[3,2-b]thiophene units as π-spacers and six different types of acceptor groups have been designed. The photoelectrical properties of the dyes, considering their potential application in dye-sensitized solar cells, were investigated using DFT/TDDFT methods. The dye incorporating a TCA acceptor group was calculated to exhibit the largest open-circuit voltage.

[Article]
Yuanzuo Li, Chaofan Sun, Peng Song, Fengcai Ma, Yanhui Yang
ChemPhysChem, January 19, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/cphc.201601101. Read article

Influence of Fullerene Acceptor on the Performance, Microstructure, and Photophysics of Low Bandgap Polymer Solar Cells

Influence of Fullerene Acceptor on the Performance, Microstructure, and Photophysics of Low Bandgap Polymer Solar Cells

The mixing behavior of a high-efficiency polymer with various fullerene derivatives is investigated. Compared to solar cells using either PC61BM or PC71 BM as acceptor, cells using ICBA have a lower efficiency due to a more intermixed morphology. ICBA blends, however, show a higher thermal stability which is exploited in the fabrication of homo-tandem cells with 9.0% power conversion efficiency.

[Full Paper]
Wenchao Huang, Eliot Gann, Naresh Chandrasekaran, Shyamal K. K. Prasad, Sheng-Yung Chang, Lars Thomsen, Dinesh Kabra, Justin M. Hodgkiss, Yi-Bing Cheng, Yang Yang, Christopher R. McNeill
Adv. Energy Mater., January 17, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201602197. Read article

Open-Circuit Voltage in Organic Solar Cells: The Impacts of Donor Semicrystallinity and Coexistence of Multiple Interfacial Charge-Transfer Bands

Open‐Circuit Voltage in Organic Solar Cells: The Impacts of Donor Semicrystallinity and Coexistence of Multiple Interfacial Charge‐Transfer Bands

In organic solar cells, the coexistence of donor phases with different degrees of order influences the distribution of charge-transfer (CT) states. Abrupt interfaces between aggregated donor and acceptor phases cause voltage loss as high as ≈300 mV. Interfacial mixing resulting in local disorder between aggregated phases should eliminate the low energy CT states and improve the open-circuit voltage.

[Full Paper]
Guy O. Ngongang Ndjawa, Kenneth R. Graham, Sonya Mollinger, Di M. Wu, David Hanifi, Rohit Prasanna, Bradley D. Rose, Sukumar Dey, Liyang Yu, Jean-Luc Brédas, Michael D. McGehee, Alberto Salleo, Aram Amassian
Adv. Energy Mater., January 16, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201601995. Read article

Highly Efficient Perovskite Solar Cell Photocharging of Lithium Ion Battery Using DC–DC Booster

Highly Efficient Perovskite Solar Cell Photocharging of Lithium Ion Battery Using DC–DC Booster

Li4Ti5O12-LiCoO2 lithium ion battery is efficiently photocharged by a high efficiency perovskite solar cell with a maximum power point tracking-based DC–DC voltage boost converter. A high overall efficiency of 9.36% is achieved at 0.5 C discharge rate due to high efficiency from perovskite solar cells, maximum power tracking capability from the boost converter, and low energy loss from the battery.

[Full Paper]
Ashim Gurung, Ke Chen, Reza Khan, Salem Saad Abdulkarim, Geetha Varnekar, Rajesh Pathak, Roya Naderi, Qiquan Qiao
Adv. Energy Mater., January 11, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201602105. Read article

Small is Powerful: Recent Progress in Solution-Processed Small Molecule Solar Cells

Small is Powerful: Recent Progress in Solution‐Processed Small Molecule Solar Cells

Bulk heterojunction photovoltaics based on small molecule donors have greatly improved their performance thanks to a growing multidisciplinary effort. This review presents recent advances in molecular design, control and characterization of bulk heterojunction film morphology, and understandings of charge generation and recombination in these devices. The review is concluded with a discussion of questions that need further research to push small molecule photovoltaics higher.

[Review]
Samuel D. Collins, Niva A. Ran, Michael C. Heiber, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen
Adv. Energy Mater., January 09, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201602242. Read article

Two-Step Sequential Deposition of Organometal Halide Perovskite for Photovoltaic Application

Two‐Step Sequential Deposition of Organometal Halide Perovskite for Photovoltaic Application

The two-step sequential deposition method is one of the most important deposition methods for the organometal halide perovskite layer in photovoltaic application. So far, great progress has been made on this method, which helps to promote the development of PSCs. Herein, its recent achievements are reviewed and the important issues are highlighted while proposing the corresponding solutions.

[Feature Article]
Haining Chen
Adv. Funct. Mater., January 06, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201605654. Read article

Emerging of Inorganic Hole Transporting Materials For Perovskite Solar Cells

Emerging of Inorganic Hole Transporting Materials For Perovskite Solar Cells

Recently, hole transport materials based on inorganic metal oxides have rapidly increased in place of organic materials like spiro due to stability, ease of synthesis and low cost for perovskite solar cells. The device efficiency using inorganic hole transport materials have crossed 19% which is on par with spiro based devices. This review covers recent developments on inorganic based hole transport materials for perovskite solar cells.

[Personal Account]
Ramireddy Rajeswari, Madoori Mrinalini, Seelam Prasanthkumar, Lingamallu Giribabu
Chem. Rec., January 04, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/tcr.201600117. Read article

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