Monitoring, Solar

imec EU PVSEC update on thin-film PV

imec, Plextronics, and Solvay will present an organic polymer-based single-junction solar cell with 6.9% efficiency in an inverted device stack at EU PVSEC. imec also announced that it will integrate its thin film photovoltaic R&D efforts in Solliance.

September 6, 2011 — imec, together with Plextronics and Solvay, will present an organic polymer-based single-junction solar cell with 6.9% efficiency in an inverted device stack at the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (PVSEC). imec also announced that it will integrate its thin film photovoltaic R&D efforts in Solliance.

EU PVSEC takes place this week in Hamburg, Germany. Check out the imec booth: C11, Hall B4G.

The higher solar cell efficiency was acheived by combining imec’s scalable inverted device architecture and Plextronics’ polymers (See photo above). A PV module fabricated with the polymer cells posted 5% efficiency for an aperture area of 25cm2.

The combination of Plextronics’ low band-gap p-type polymer with a fullerene derivate with inverted architectures could extend thin film solar cell lifetimes. The dedicated inverted bulk heterojunction architecture developed by imec improved the device performance by at least 0.5% over standard architectures used for organic solar cells. In the active layer, a new buffer layer was introduced to optimize light management. Optimizations to the active layer using different types of polymers are also underway.

Further work, such as introducing a multi-junction featuring different layers of different polymers each capturing another part of the light spectrum, could produe organic PV lifetimes beyond 10 years, with 10% conversion efficiencies, forecasts Tom Aernouts, R&D Team Leader Organic Photovoltaics at imec. These developments could take place within 2-3 years.

At EU PVSEC, Imec also announced that it will be a full partner of Solliance and will integrate its thin film PV R&D efforts in Solliance. With imec as a partner, Solliance aims to be an R&D cluster bringing thin film solar energy technology to excellence.

Solliance performs industry-collaborative research toward near-, mid-, and long-term goals. It primarily concerns thin film silicon, alternatives for CIGS, and organic photovoltaics (OPV) research. Solliance also concentrates on generic technologies that will be vital to any thin film PV industry: testing, characterization and monitoring, laser technologies, light management by mechanical texturization, transparent conductive layers, monolithic interconnection, new OPV device development, thin film deposition techniques, sheet-to-sheet processing, roll-to-roll (R2R) processing, and in-line monitoring.

Solliance’s ambition is to strengthen the position of the Eindhoven-Leuven-Aachen triangle (ELAT region) as a world player in thin film PV. Solliance aims to realize this ambition by joint use of state-of-the-art infrastructure, alignment of research programs, and close cooperation with the solar business community. Solliance is, amongst others, financially supported by the Dutch Province of Brabant. Solliance partners include ECN, Imec, TNO, Holst Centre, and TU/e Eindhoven University of Technology. See: www.solliance.eu.

Plextronics, Inc. is an international technology company that specializes in printed lighting, display, solar and other organic electronics. For more information about Plextronics, visit www.plextronics.com.

SOLVAY is an international industrial Group active in Chemistry. Details are available at www.solvay.com.

Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Further information on imec can be found at www.imec.be.

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