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IMEC, Plextronics team up for organic solar cells

Posted: 03 Sep 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:organic solar cells  multi-junction  industrial manufacturing technology  solar cell lifetime 

Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) and Plextronics Inc., a company specialising in printed solar, lighting and other organic electronics, signed an agreement to collaborate on state-of-the-art materials and inks for organic solar cells.

With this collaboration, IMEC aims to develop a reproducible process for high-efficiency organic solar cells using Plextronics' Plexcore branded materials and inks, which have demonstrated efficiencies as high as 5.9 per cent, according to recent testing at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado.

IMEC aims to develop organic multi-junction solar cells with efficiency of 10 per cent by 2012. The company's focus is also on upscaling of the process to achieve a large-area industrial manufacturing technology with an average efficiency of 7 per cent (±0.5 per cent) and solar cell lifetime of five years.

To realise these goals, high-quality, highly reproducible commercial materials are essential. In the first phase, IMEC will investigate Plexcore OS, which is a regioregular poly-3-hexylthiophene (P3HT) polymer with a high absorption coefficient close to the maximum photon flux in the solar spectrum and high mobility. Plexcore OS materials will be processed 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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