News

A PhD Student Condenses (Vol. 2): ITIC & Its Derivatives

Posted on Fri, Dec 15, 2017
This is the second post in a monthly guest blog series titled "A PhD Student Condenses...", where the latest academic articles will be condensed and reviewed by Ossila's newest academic collaborator - Emma Spooner, a first-year PhD student the University of Sheffield.
Emma Spooner | Ossila - University of Sheffield PhD Student

My name is Emma Spooner and I have just started a PhD in Fullerene-Free Photovoltaic Devices at the University of Sheffield, in collaboration with Ossila Ltd. As part of this collaboration, I will be running this monthly series where I review recent papers encountered in my research to provide a concise summary for Ossila’s customers.

In the second article of this series, I will be discussing the recent work by Zhang et al. entitled ‘Effect of Non-Fullerene Acceptors’ Side Chains on the Morphology and Photovoltaic Performance of Organic Solar Cells.’1 As discussed in Ossila’s recent blogpost, non-fullerene acceptors (NFAs) are an emerging area of exciting research in organic solar cells, motivated by some of the inadequacies of conventional fullerene acceptors (such as their weak optical absorption). Further discussion of the developments in NFAs can be found in several comprehensive review articles.2-4 


 

Condensed Summary

Title:  Effect of Non-Fullerene Acceptors’ Side Chains on the Morphology and Photovoltaic Performance of Organic Solar Cells

Citation: C. Zhang, S. Feng, Y. Liu, R. Hou, Z. Zhang, X. Xu, Y. Wu and Z. Bo, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2017, 9, 33906-33912

Learning point: Side chain modification of electron acceptors can be used to optimise bulk heterojunction morphology, and performance.

 

ITIC and Its Derivatives

Figure 1: A selection of ITIC derivatives available from Ossila.

 

Of the significant efforts in research devoted to NFAs, the proposal of the fused-ring system 3,9-bis(2-methylene-(3-(1,1-dicyanomethylene)-indanone))-5,5,11,11-tetrakris(4-hexylphenyl)-dithieno[2,3-d:2’,3’-d’]-s-indaceno[1,2-b:5,6-b’]dithiophene, or ‘ITIC’, in 20155 has generated the most success. In the initial paper proposing ITIC, a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 6.80% was achieved in combination with a PTB7-TH donor, and efficiencies above 12% have been found with various ITIC derivatives, many of which are supplied by Ossila, such as ITIC-M,6 ITIC-2F7 and ITIC-Th.8

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A Guide to Sheet Resistance

Posted on Fri, Dec 08, 2017

Sheet resistance is the electrical resistance along a thin conductive film. It is inherently linked to the resistivity and thickness of the material being tested, and the measurement can be used to characterise thin films.

Whether you are new to the measurement or simply want a refresher on the topic - if you want to know more about what sheet resistance is, why it’s useful, or how it is measured - check out our sheet resistance theory guide.

 

In a concise manner, this guide explains the general theory behind sheet resistance, its applications, how it can be measured using a four-point probe, and how geometric correction factors are determined and applied.

At the end of the guide, the derivation of the four-point probe sheet resistance equation from first principles is shown - further explaining how the four-point probe measurement works.


Solution Preparation, Made Easy

Posted on Mon, Dec 04, 2017
Solution Making Collection

Whether in workshops or our own labs, we've always understood and emphasised the importance of the little things. For example, take the simple pipette tip or syringe filter - these simple accessories are often overlooked in favour of other shiny new pieces of equipment. However, even the most advanced equipment in the world will fail to give you accurate results if the fundamental steps are not carried out properly. Therefore, a basic step like solution preparation is truly a vital part of conducting experiments.

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A PhD Student Condenses: The Impact of OPV Processing Conditions

Posted on Mon, Nov 27, 2017
This marks the start of a new monthly guest blog series titled "A PhD Student Reviews...", where the latest academic articles will be condensed and reviewed by Ossila's newest academic collaborator - Emma Spooner, a first-year PhD student the University of Sheffield.
Emma Spooner | Ossila - University of Sheffield PhD Student

My name is Emma Spooner and I have just started a PhD in Fullerene-Free Photovoltaic Devices at the University of Sheffield, in collaboration with Ossila Ltd. As part of this collaboration, I will be running this monthly series where I review recent papers encountered in my research to provide a concise summary for Ossila’s customers.

The first paper I will review in this series is an article by Singh, Dey, & Iyer (2017) that will soon be featured in the December 2017 issue of Organic Electronics, titled "Influence of Molar Mass Ratio, Annealing Temperature and Cathode Buffer Layer on Power Conversion Efficiency of P3HT:PC71BM-based Organic Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cell". It is based on optimising organic  (OPV) processing conditions - a topic that is important in maximising power conversion efficiency (PCE) values, and therefore of particular interest to researchers in the field of OPVs.


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The New & Improved IV Curve Measurement System

Posted on Mon, Nov 20, 2017

We are constantly looking for ways to make your research easier and more efficient. Our latest attempt at doing so is the IV Curve Measurement System, which has now been upgraded to include an intuitive PC software, along with these new features and benefits listed below.

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Ossila Accepts Prize at 2017 Annual IOP Awards Night

Posted on Thu, Nov 16, 2017
iop-business-innovation-award-winner-ossila
L-R: Dr. James Kingsley (Managing Director) & Prof. David Lidzey (Chairman) accepting Ossila's Business Innovation Award from President of the Institute of Physics' (IOP), Prof. Dame Julia Higgins at the Annual IOP Awards Dinner in London.

 

In honour of our recent Institute of Physics (IOP) Business Innovation Award, we were invited to attend an official awards dinner held in London last week. Several representatives from Ossila - including our Managing Director, Dr. James Kingsley, and Chairman, Prof. David Lidzey - travelled to London to spend an evening with esteemed academic & industrial physicists.

The Business Innovation Awards stand out from the crowd because they are the only awards in the UK and Ireland recognising companies that have built success on the innovative application of physics. It was an enjoyable and memorable evening, where several other prestigious awards were presented - including the Isaac Newton Medal/Prize and international bilateral awards. 

Dr. Kingsley said, "It was wonderful to be here this evening amongst the biggest names in the field. To have Ossila's solar cell prototyping platform given recognition in this way is truly an honour and encouragement. This award is a shining testament and tribute to the incredible work of everyone at Ossila Ltd. We would also like to thank our valued customers for their continued support over the years!"

 

 


Now Available: Materials for Non-Fullerene Polymer Solar Cells

Posted on Thu, Nov 09, 2017
non-fullerene acceptors, all polymer solar cells, NFAs

Non-fullerene polymer solar cells (NF-PSCs) have recently received great interest in academic and industrial research fields. This is partly due to the continuous development of polymer semiconductors as OPV donor materials during the last 20 years [1-3].

Tremendous efforts have also been devoted to the development of non-fullerene acceptors. This is due to the advantages they offer, such as:

 

i) Easy synthesis, with the possibility to tune energy levels of such acceptors

ii) Strong absorption in the visible region and good thermal stability (when compared to fullerenes with weak absorption)

iii) Poor morphology stability

iv) Limited energy-level tunability

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Slot-Die Coater Launching Soon!

Posted on Wed, Nov 01, 2017
Ossila Slot-Die Coater
The Ossila slot-die coating system will be launching at the end of November 2017. If you would like more information on this system or want to pre-order, please contact us at info@ossila.com

A major challenge in the deposition of thin-film electronic devices is the transition from simple lab-based techniques to those that are compatible with large-scale manufacturing. Simple methods, such as spin coating, are widely used within laboratories - but this technique cannot be integrated into scalable manufacturing lines. However, there is a technique that is suitable for both small-scale and large-scale usage: slot-die coating.

By learning what our customers loved about our highly popular spin-coating system, we set out to develop a slot-die coater that is easy to maintain, operate, and affordable. This resulted in the creation of Ossila's slot-die coater, a miniature system capable of coating substrates over 10 cm in length and 5 cm in width - allowing researchers to take their first steps into optimising the deposition process for slot-die coating.

This technique has many advantages, including complete compatibility with both roll-to-roll and sheet-to-sheet systems and precise thickness control across a wide range of viscosities and solution types.

 

 

 

 

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New Guide Available: Solar Cell Theory & Measurement

Posted on Mon, Oct 30, 2017

Solar cells are devices that convert light into electricity via the 'photovoltaic effect', a phenomenon that occurs in some semiconducting materials. They are a key technology for current and future energy generation, and hence have a large and active research community.

Whether you are new to the field or just want to know more about these devices, we have just published a written guide on the theory, operation, and measurement of solar cells.

Solar Cell Operation

 

The guide explains how a solar cell converts light into electricity and collects it. Delving deeper, it then covers how the devices are characterised, and the factors that affect their overall performance.

Finally, the guide provides an overview of different types of solar technology, including silicon, cadmium telluride, dye-sensitised, organic, and perovskite-based devices.


The New, Improved Spin Coater

Posted on Tue, Oct 24, 2017
Spin Coater | new 2017 Ossila

 

At Ossila, we are continuously improving our products to provide you with the tools that enable innovation in your field. Our original low-cost Spin Coater was the answer for giving more researchers the opportunity to create high-quality coatings.

After combining your valuable customer feedback with the work of our R&D team, Ossila are proud to present the new Spin Coater – designed for busy labs. With this updated version of the Spin Coater, we worked to enhance the practical user experience.

The new Spin Coater will be available in early November, and remains priced at £1995.

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