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Nat Commun. 2012;3:1019. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2012.

In situ measurement of exciton energy in hybrid singlet-fission solar cells.

Author information

1
Cavendish Laboratory, J.J. Thomson Avenue, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK.

Abstract

Singlet exciton fission-sensitized solar cells have the potential to exceed the Shockley-Queisser limit by generating additional photocurrent from high-energy photons. Pentacene is an organic semiconductor that undergoes efficient singlet fission--the conversion of singlet excitons into pairs of triplets. However, the pentacene triplet is non-emissive, and uncertainty regarding its energy has hindered device design. Here we present an in situ measurement of the pentacene triplet energy by fabricating a series of bilayer solar cells with infrared-absorbing nanocrystals of varying bandgaps. We show that the pentacene triplet energy is at least 0.85 eV and at most 1.00 eV in operating devices. Our devices generate photocurrent from triplets, and achieve external quantum efficiencies up to 80%, and power conversion efficiencies of 4.7%. This establishes the general use of nanocrystal size series to measure the energy of non-emissive excited states, and suggests that fission-sensitized solar cells are a favourable candidate for third-generation photovoltaics.

PMID:
22910365
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms2012

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