Study into organic solar cells

Monday, 16 February, 2009

IMEC and Plextronics, a company specialising in printed solar, lighting and other organic electronics, have signed an agreement to collaborate on materials and inks for organic solar cells.

IMEC aims to develop a reproducible process for high-efficiency organic solar cells using Plextronics' Plexcore branded materials and inks, which have shown efficiencies up to 5.9%, according to testing at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado.

IMEC aims to develop organic multijunction solar cells with efficiencies of 10% by 2012. Its focus is also on up-scaling the process to achieve a large-area industrial manufacturing technology with an average efficiency of 7% (±0.5%) and solar cell lifetime of five years.

IMEC will investigate Plexcore OS, which is a regioregular poly-three-hexylthiophene polymer with a high absorption coefficient close to the maximum photon flux in the solar spectrum and high mobility.

These materials will be processes using spin coating and validated on film morphology, carrier mobility and reproducibility. Solar cells will be processed on different substrates using spin-coated films of the material.

Future research will include evaluation of other Plexcore materials and inks, using deposition techniques such as screen and inkjet printing and spray coating on large-area substrates.

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