Modeling and implementation of tandem polymer solar cells using wide-bandgap front cells

Seo Jin Ko, Hyosung Choi, Quoc Viet Hoang, Chang Eun Song, Pierre Olivier Morin, Jungwoo Heo, Mario Leclerc, Sung Cheol Yoon, Han Young Woo, Won Suk Shin, Bright Walker, Jin Young Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Tandem device architectures offer a route to greatly increase the maximum possible power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of polymer solar cells, however, the complexity of tandem cell device fabrication (such as selecting bandgaps of the front and back cells, current matching, thickness, and recombination layer optimization) often result in lower PCEs than are observed in single-junction devices. In this study, we analyze the influence of front cell and back cell bandgaps and use transfer matrix modeling to rationally design and optimize effective tandem solar cell structures before actual device fabrication. Our approach allows us to estimate tandem device parameters based on known absorption coefficients and open-circuit voltages of different active layer materials and design devices without wasting valuable time and materials. Using this approach, we have investigated a series of wide bandgap, high voltage photovoltaic polymers as front cells in tandem devices with PTB7-Th as a back cell. In this way, we have been able to demonstrate tandem devices with PCE of up to 12.8% with minimal consumption of valuable photoactive materials in tandem device optimization. This value represents one of the highest PCE values to date for fullerene-based tandem solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-142
Number of pages12
JournalCarbon Energy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (2017R1C1B1010627) and the New and Renewable Energy Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) grant funded by the Korea Government Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MTIE) (20163030013900, 20183010013900). This study was supported by the Technology Development Program to solve climate changes of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (NRF‐2015M1A2A2057506, 2019M1A2A2065614).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors. Carbon Energy published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Wenzhou University.


  • polymer solar cells
  • solar cells
  • tandem solar cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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