A Solid-State Organic Intermediate Band Solar Cell Based on Principles of Triplet-Triplet Annihilation

Web Published:

Princeton Docket # 16-3248


Researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University have invented the first solid-state intermediate band organic solar cell device. This device architecture, made from commercially available materials, enables increased solar cell efficiency by converting low energy solar photons into electrical current and in turn results in higher solar cell efficiencies.


Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) represent a promising class of emerging solar energy technologies. Because of the ability to print OPVs on a large scale using low temperature processes, such devices can be manufactured at a significantly reduced cost compared to polycrystalline silicon solar cells - the current standard-bearer of PV technology. However, the primary disadvantage that has hindered the development of organic solar cells on an industrial scale is low device efficiencies compared to silicon. This is largely attributable to the inability of organic solar cells to convert low-energy solar photons into usable energy. This technology invented at Princeton is the first example of a solid-state organic cell that is able to utilize these low energy photons for increased device efficiency. This represents a large advancement in the field, as this device architecture has the potential to increase power conversion efficiencies by over 30%, thus reaching closer to conventional PV technologies. In total, this innovation includes the required suite of characteristics necessary to enhance the efficiency of OPVs and therefore bring them a step closer to commercial implementation.




•       Organic solar cells




•       Enables conversion of low energy solar photons to electrical current

•       Increases efficiency and output of organic solar cells

•       Lower cost than conventional polycrystalline solar cells




Barry Rand, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering & Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, received his Ph.D. from Princeton University. His area of interest includes emerging device concepts and materials to help to realize the next generation of thin film electronic devices. His research focuses on the unique electronic and optical properties of thin film materials, and in particular semiconductors. Such as, the use of molecular and chalcogenide (e.g. oxide) semiconductors, as well as nanostructured quantized matter for emerging applications in solar cells, light emitting devices, and transistors. Studies that his group conducts range from those on fundamental optical and electrical characterization to device physics and engineering to processing. His work resides at the intersection of electrical engineering, materials science, physics, and chemistry. Professor Rand is the recipient of a DARPA Young Faculty Award, ONR Young Investigator Program Award, DuPont Young Professor Award, and 3M Nontenured Faculty Award.


Intellectual Property & Development status


Patent protection is pending.


Princeton is currently seeking commercial partners for the further development and commercialization of this opportunity.



Michael R. Tyerech

Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing • (609) 258-6762• tyerech@princeton.edu

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Chris Wright
Licensing Associate
Princeton University
Barry Rand
YunHui Lin