Foldable Semitransparent Organic Solar Cells for Photovoltaic and Photosynthesis

Wei Song, Billy Fanady, Ruixiang Peng, Ling Hong, Lirong Wu, Wenxia Zhang, Tingting Yan, Tao Wu, Sanhui Chen, Ziyi Ge

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


Semitransparent organic solar cells (ST-OSCs) have attracted extensive attention for their potential greenhouse applications. Conventional ST-OSCs are typically based on indium tin oxide (ITO) electrodes which suffer from mechanical brittleness. Therefore, alternatives for ITO are required for realization of foldable-flexible ST-OSCs (FST-OSCs). Herein, flexible poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) electrodes are prepared as ITO alternatives via polyhydroxy compound (xylitol) microdoping and acid treatment. As a result, flexible opaque OSCs based on PBDB-T-2F:Y6 photoactive system yield a high efficiency of 14.20%. The desirable optical properties of modified PEDOT:PSS electrodes in the visible light region and PBDB-T-2F:Y6 photoactive layer in the near-infrared region facilitate the fabrication of FST-OSCs with over 10% efficiency and 21% average visible light transmittance. Those FST-OSCs also display excellent mechanical stability against bending and folding due to the xylitol doping, where over 80% of the initial efficiency can still be maintained even after 1000 folding cycles. Meanwhile, parallel comparisons between plants grown under direct sunlight with a FST-OSCs roof and those under direct sunlight yield very similar results in terms of branch sturdiness and hypertrophic leaves. The results pave the way for realizing high-performing FST-OSCs based on PEDOT:PSS electrodes that could utilize visible light for plant growth and infrared light for power generation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000136
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • flexible semitransparent
  • organic solar cells
  • PEDOT:PSS electrodes
  • photosynthesis
  • photovoltaics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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