We report on the realization of high-efficiency bulk heterojunction PV devices based on P3HT/PCBM on transparent
plastic substrates, from one elementary cell to large area modules, and we compare with results obtained on glass. The
first target consists in the optimisation of the processing parameters in order to obtain the highest possible Power
Conversion Efficiency (PCE) values for individual cells. We have reached PCE close to 4% with small dispersion on
plastic substrates for cells of 0.28 cm<sup>2</sup> active area, compared to 5% on glass. Modules of multiple cells are then
elaborated on 5x5 cm substrates with a design aimed to minimize ohmic losses, and interconnection resistances. For
glass module, with 12 individual cells on a 5x5 cm<sup>2</sup> substrate we obtain PCE of 3.26 % (12.4 cm<sup>2</sup> active surface). Larger
modules with active area up to 35 cm<sup>2</sup> exhibiting PCE of 2.8 % and open circuit voltage higher than 6V are also
demonstrated for glass, approaching the requirements for commercial electronic applications. On PET, record efficiency
of 2.85 % is obtained for a 8.8 cm<sup>2</sup> module and PCE of 2.52 % is demonstrated for a large area module with 53 cm<sup>2</sup>
active surface. The influence of the geometric parameters of the individual cells and their type of connection (parallel or
series) on the module characteristics is also discussed.
This article describes a method to have a better knowledge of barrier performances needed for encapsulating
materials, particularly in the case of organic solar cells devices. We have developed a high sensitivity
permeameter which enables simultaneous measurements of water and oxygen permeation. Various polymers and
inorganic coatings on polymer substrates have been measured. Experimental barrier parameters have been
plotted considering the steady and transient states of permeation curves and compared to theoretical values. In
addition, we have performed ageing experiments on encapsulated organic solar cells to establish a barrier
requirement directly related to the device. Finally, we have performed such experiments using different cathode
materials and encapsulating materials.
Organic photovoltaic represents an emerging technology thanks to its ability to give flexible, light weight and large-area
devices, with low production cost by simple solution process or printing technologies. But these devices are known to
exhibit low resistance to the combined action of sunlight, oxygen and water. This paper is focused on the behaviour of
the active layer of the devices under illumination in the presence and absence of oxygen.
The monitoring of the evolution of the chemical structure of MDMO-PPV submitted to accelerated artificial ageing
permitted the elucidation of the mechanisms by which the polymer degrades. Extrapolation of the data to natural ageing
suggested that, if well protected from oxygen (encapsulation),
MDMO-PPV:PCBM based active layer is
photochemically stable for several years in use conditions. In addition the charge transfer between the two materials was
observed to remain efficient under exposure.
The study of P3HT:PCBM blends allowed to point out the Achilles heel of P3HT towards the impact of light. In
addition, P3HT:PCBM blends were shown to be much more stable under illumination than MDMO:PCBM blends.
Preliminary results devoted to the AFM monitoring of the morphological modifications of P3HT:PCBM blends under
the impact of light are also reported.