Emerging Materials for Photovoltaics – Potentials & Requirements

Dr. Markus Scharber1

1Linz Institute of Organic Solar Cells, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria

Solar radiation is the most important source of renewable energy and harvesting it efficiently will be an important task in the future. Today mostly silicon-based photovoltaic devices are used to convert solar radiation into electricity. This technology is very well established with good power conversion efficiency and proven long-term performance. At the same time, silicon-based photovoltaic modules are usually heavy, rigid and non-transparent limiting their applicability. Flexible, lightweight photovoltaic materials could be integrated into facades, cars, bags, etc. easily, leaving a lot of room for new types of solar cells.

In the presentation, I will compare the potential and limitations of organic and perovskite solar cells. The fundamental working principles and processes determining their performance will be discussed. As both emerging photovoltaic technologies are based on thin absorber layers and devices can be processed from solution onto flexible substrates overall leading to a very favorable cost structure and life-cycle analysis. By overcoming the current stability issues, both technologies could play a key role in building integrated photovoltaics.