Thermally stable, highly efficient, ultraflexible organic photovoltaics

Xiaomin Xu, Kenjiro Fukuda, Akchheta Karki, Sungjun Park, Hiroki Kimura, Hiroaki Jinno, Nobuhiro Watanabe, Shuhei Yamamoto, Satoru Shimomura, Daisuke Kitazawa, Tomoyuki Yokota, Shinjiro Umezu, Thuc Quyen Nguyen, Takao Someya

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    38 Citations (Scopus)


    Flexible photovoltaics with extreme mechanical compliance present appealing possibilities to power Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and wearable electronic devices. Although improvement in thermal stability is essential, simultaneous achievement of high power conversion efficiency (PCE) and thermal stability in flexible organic photovoltaics (OPVs) remains challenging due to the difficulties in maintaining an optimal microstructure of the active layer under thermal stress. The insufficient thermal capability of a plastic substrate and the environmental influences cannot be fully expelled by ultrathin barrier coatings. Here, we have successfully fabricated ultraflexible OPVs with initial efficiencies of up to 10% that can endure temperatures of over 100 °C, maintaining 80% of the initial efficiency under accelerated testing conditions for over 500 hours in air. Particularly, we introduce a low-bandgap poly(benzodithiophene-cothieno[3,4-b]thiophene) (PBDTTT) donor polymer that forms a sturdy microstructure when blended with a fullerene acceptor. We demonstrate a feasible way to adhere ultraflexible OPVs onto textiles through a hot-melt process without causing severe performance degradation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4589-4594
    Number of pages6
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Issue number18
    Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 1


    • Organic photovoltaics
    • Power conversional efficiency
    • Thermal stability
    • Ultraflexibility

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General

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  • Cite this

    Xu, X., Fukuda, K., Karki, A., Park, S., Kimura, H., Jinno, H., Watanabe, N., Yamamoto, S., Shimomura, S., Kitazawa, D., Yokota, T., Umezu, S., Nguyen, T. Q., & Someya, T. (2018). Thermally stable, highly efficient, ultraflexible organic photovoltaics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(18), 4589-4594.