The Design of Flexible Organic Photovoltaic Fibers
Zamora, Rigoberto Antonio
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The possibility of using solution processing methods that are vacuum free and low temperatures, are attractive properties of organic π-conjugate polymers. These properties can be used to facilitate the processing of organic electronics such as transistors, organic light emitting diodes, and organic solar cells at lower temperatures. While reducing manufacturing costs remains important, an additional upside to developing organic electronics arises from the innate flexible characteristic of organic polymers. Adding flexibility into the design criteria of electronic devices while simultaneously lowering manufacturing costs, highlights the potential to design solar cells for use in varying applications such as fabrics and textiles. Traditional organic solar cells incorporate planar electrodes into their design. Cylindrical electrodes in the form of wires allow access to novel fabrication methods and enable novel architectures. The wires can be coated with varying hole transporting materials, electron transporting materials, and active layer combinations, just like standard planar electrodes. Ultimately, the wires can be woven together to form a lightweight fabric to be used in applications where flexibility and functionality is desired. Here we present the design of machinery that enables the fabrication of flexible organic solar cells using a modified dip coating process. The one dimensional in-line coating process can be modified to coat multiple layers at speeds of up to 1.4 m/min using low drying temperatures with a continuous process.