January 12, 2015

Solar Cell Polymers with Multiplied Electrical Output

New family of materials produces "twin" electrical charges on single molecules, potentially paving the way for easy manufacture of more efficient solar devices

One challenge in improving the efficiency of solar cells is that some of the absorbed light energy is lost as heat. So scientists have been looking to design materials that can convert more of that energy into useful electricity. Now a team from the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and Columbia University has paired up polymers that recover some of that lost energy by producing two electrical charge carriers per unit of light instead of the usual one.