Reporting performance in organic photovoltaic devices

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Journal titleACS Nano
Pages47084714; # of pages: 7
SubjectExperimental procedure; Hole transport layers; Inorganic semiconductors; Organic photovoltaic devices; Organic photovoltaics; Power conversion efficiencies; Statistical significance; Statistical treatment; Heterojunctions; Research
AbstractResearch into organic photovoltaics (OPVs) is rapidly growing worldwide because it offers a route to low temperature, inexpensive processing of lightweight, flexible solar cells that can be mass manufactured cheaply. Unlike silicon or other inorganic semiconductors (e.g., CdTe, CIGs), OPVs are complicated by the requirement of having multiple materials and layers that must be integrated to enable the cell to function. The enormous number of research hours required to optimize all aspects of OPVs and to integrate them successfully is typically boiled down to one number-the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of the device. The PCE is the value by which comparisons are routinely made when modifications are made to devices; new bulk heterojunction materials, electron- and hole-transport layers, electrodes, plasmonic additives, and many other new advances are incorporated into OPV devices and compared with one, or a series of, control device(s). The concern relates to the statistical significance of this all-important efficiency/PCE value: is the observed change or improvement in performance truly greater than experimental error? If it is not, then the field can and will be misled by improper reporting of efficiencies, and future research in OPVs could be frustrated and, ultimately, irreversibly damaged. In this Perspective, the dangers of, for instance, cherry-picking of data and poor descriptions of experimental procedures, are outlined, followed by a discussion of a real data set of OPV devices, and how a simple and easy statistical treatment can help to distinguish between results that are indistinguishable experimentally, and those that do appear to be different. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
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AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT-INNT)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21269668
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Record identifier07757cfa-0103-4fbb-98eb-7ab6c6be783e
Record created2013-12-13
Record modified2016-05-09
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