IMEC, Plextronics eye organic solar cells

Sept. 2, 2008 – European R&D consortium IMEC and Plextronics say they are collaborating on development of a new process for high-efficiency organic solar cells using the company’s materials and inks.

The work will target a reproducible process for organic solar cells using Plextronics’ Plexcore materials and inks, which have been recognized as demonstrating record efficiencies (up to 5.9%) by recent tests at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The collaboration falls under IMEC’s project to develop organic multi-junction solar cells with 10% efficiency by 2012, and then scale up the process for large-area industrial manufacturing with average 6.5%-7.5% efficiency and a five-year lifetime.

The first phase of the joint work will investigate Plextronics’ Plexcore polymer (regioregular poly-3-hexylthiophene [P3HT], which the company says has a high absorption coefficient close to the maximum photon flux in the solar spectrum and high mobility. The materials will be spin-coated and validated on film morphology, carrier mobility, and reproducibility, and processed on different substrates for solar cells.

Future work will evaluate other Plexcore materials and inks using other deposition techniques such as screen and inkjet printing and spray coating on large-area substrates.

The Plextronics materials “look very promising for high-efficiency reproducible organic solar cells,” said Jef Poortmans, solar program director at IMEC, in a statement.

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