New Photovoltaic Concept: Liquid-Crystal Solar Cells Using a Nematic Gel Template


  • G. Sowersby is thanked for technical support. We acknowledge the EPSRC for financial support.


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A photopolymerized nematic liquid-crystal gel, which is visible-light absorbing and electron-donating, is used to template a nanoporous surface. This forms a distributed interface to an overlying electron acceptor in the device. An electron-blocking layer lies between the gel and bottom electrode (see figure). An open-circuit voltage of 1.1 V and a power conversion efficiency of 0.6% are obtained for a monochromatic irradiance of 45 mW cm–2.