Heliatek, Fraunhofer tout 6% organic cell efficiency

German firm Heliatek and the Institute of Applied Photo Physics (IAPP) at the Technical U. of Dresden say they have developed an organic tandem solar cell achieving 6% efficiency, with goals of achieving 10%.


September 3, 2009 –  German firm Heliatek and the Institute of Applied Photo Physics (IAPP) at the Technical U. of Dresden say they have developed an organic tandem solar cell achieving 6% efficiency, certified by the Fraunhofer ISE.

The 2cm2 active-area cells, using organic dyes synthesized from hydrocarbons and Heliatek’s proprietary tandem cells (green, red and IR absorbers) are designed to be manufactured on foil substrates in “a continuous vacuum coating process” for “highly flexible and lightweight” (0.5kg/m2) modules, but the cells “already possess many of the essential characteristics of a large solar module,” the company claims.

The firm (a 2006 spinoff from the IAPP and U. of Ulm, backed by funding from BASF, Bosch, and some venture capital) says it will continue to push the technology toward commercial viability in cooperation with Fraunhofer IPMS in Dresden and its Center for Organic Materials and Electronic Devices Dresden (COMEDD), whose OLED device production is similar to that needed for Heliatek’s solar technology. Heliatek and IAPP plan to improve conversion efficiency to 10% — the company claims it has “proof-of-principle for all necessary components” — but offer no timeline for that achievement.

The work with the IAPP is based on results of two projects (“Innoprofile” and “OPEG”) sponsored by Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research.

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