Polymer Solar Cells using Self-Assembled Monolayer modified Zinc Oxide/Metal as Cathodes

Introduction Conjugated polymer-based organic solar cells are considered an essential source of inexpensive renewable energy due to their advantages of being fabricated by low-cost and large-area printing and coating techniques on light-weight flexible substrates. Bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells composed of a polymer:fullerene composite layer sandwiched between a transparent metal-oxide anode and a metallic cathode are one of the most successful types of polymer solar cells. However, the performance of these devices is limited by their poor stability due to the vulnerable contact between the polymeric layer and the reactive metals. Thus, it is highly desirable to develop new device architecture that allows stable metals to be used as the cathodic material. Technology description Alex Jen’s laboratory has developed a method to fabricate polymer solar cells comprising a self-assembled monolayer (SAM)-modified ZnO/metal bilayer cathode. This new polymer solar cell structure enables high work function metals such as Ag and Au to be efficiently used as the electron collecting electrode with improved device efficiency and stability. These findings pave the way to the development of solution processed metal electrodes for inexpensive and stable polymer solar cells as thin films of Ag and Au that can be printed from their precursor solutions. Business Opportunity The U.S. market for solar-electric systems/products is projected to grow from $4.2 billion in 2008 to $9.8 billion in 2012. Intellectual Property Position There is a US patent pending on this technology. For more information on this technology contact:
Bolong Cao, Ph.D. Licensing Officer, Invention Licensing bolongc@u.washington.edu 206-685-9348

Type of Offer: Licensing

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