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Series Circuit of Organic Thin-Film Solar Cells for Conversion of Water into Hydrogen

Authors

  • Prof. Atsushi Aoki,

    Corresponding author
    1. Materials Science & Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya Institute of Technology, Tsukuri College, Gokiso, Showa-ku, Nagoya 466-8555 (Japan)
    • Materials Science & Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya Institute of Technology, Tsukuri College, Gokiso, Showa-ku, Nagoya 466-8555 (Japan)

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  • Mitsuru Naruse,

    1. Materials Science & Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya Institute of Technology, Tsukuri College, Gokiso, Showa-ku, Nagoya 466-8555 (Japan)
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  • Prof. Takayuki Abe

    1. Hydrogen Isotope Research Center, University of Toyama, 3190 Gofuku, Toyama, Toyama 930-8555 (Japan)
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Abstract

A series circuit of bulk hetero-junction (BHJ) organic thin-film solar cells (OSCs) is investigated for electrolyzing water to gaseous hydrogen and oxygen. The BHJ OSCs applied consist of poly(3-hexylthiophene) as a donor and [6,6]-phenyl C61 butyric acid methyl ester as an acceptor. A series circuit of six such OSC units has an open circuit voltage (Voc) of 3.4 V, which is enough to electrolyze water. The short circuit current (Jsc), fill factor (FF), and energy conversion efficiency (η) are independent of the number of unit cells. A maximum electric power of 8.86 mW cm−2 is obtained at the voltage of 2.35 V. By combining a water electrolysis cell with the series circuit solar cells, the electrolyzing current and voltage obtained are 1.09 mA and 2.3 V under a simulated solar light irradiation (100 mW cm−2, AM1.5G), and in one hour 0.65 mL hydrogen is generated.

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