Case 14292

Photovoltaics on Paper and Plastic Enabled by Oxidative Chemical Vapor Deposition (oCVD)

Keywords:

Solar cells, thin-film organic photovoltaic, light-weight substrates

Applications:

Solar cells incorporated into textiles, window curtains, clothing, newspaper and other “everyday” substrates

Problem:

Widespread adoption of solar cells is limited by cost per watt in particular due to high substrate and deposition process costs

Technology:

This invention proposes a method of fabricating thin-film organic photovoltaics on a variety of ultra-lightweight "everyday" substrates, including as-purchased fiber-based papers. The highly conductive polymer electrodes are simultaneously synthesized and deposited without solvents as conformal, transparent thin films at both lower temperature and moderate vacuum via oxidative chemical vapor deposition. The oCVD polymer electrodes retain their electrical integrity even after severe deformation; >1000 flexing cycles at <5 mm radius,> 100 creasing cycles, and stretching to approx 200%. OPVs fabricated with oCVD polymer electrodes exhibit comparable performance to conventional ITO-based devices, are flexed >100 times while maintaining nearly 100% of their starting efficiencies, and retain power generation when folded onto three-dimensional structures.

Advantages:
  • No pretreatment steps or protecting layers
  • Power-to-weight ratio over 500 W/kg
  • Flexible, foldable and capable of being cut to custom size
  • Inexpensive

Inventors:
  • Professor Vladimir Bulovic (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT)
  • Karen Gleason (Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT)
  • Miles Barr (Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT)
  • Jill Rowehl (Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

US Patent Application Number 12/822691, filed on June 24, 2010

PCT Patent Application Number PCT/US2011/041758, filed on June 24, 2011

Publications:

N/A

Last revised: April 30, 2013

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