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Successful Upscaling of OPV Cells Paves Way for Market Introduction

Amsterdam — September 22, 2014 — At this week’s European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC 2014), nanoelectronics research center imec presents a fullerene-free organic photovoltaic (OPV) module of 160cm^2 achieving a conversion efficiency above 5 percent, and a semi-transparent OPV module with an efficiency above 4.5 percent. With both modules showing excellent electrical and optical properties, imec’s latest achievement in the upscaling of OPV cells into highly efficient and stable modules is an important step in realizing the product development of organic photovoltaics.

Successful Upscaling of OPV Cells Paves Way for Market Introduction

Imec’s novel fullerene-free OPV cell concept was used to process an OPV module (156cm^2) with a conversion efficiency of 5.3 percent.

The fullerene-free OPV module was created by thermally evaporating small molecules in different active layers. The process has been shown to improve the device stability, while at the same time opening up possibilities for further device engineering. The introduction of a new acceptor material allows for the application of new classes of organic materials as photoactive layers to improve the conversion efficiency. The fullerene-free OPV module achieved efficiencies of more than 5 percent in an opaque configuration on a glass substrate. Moreover, a performance of 8.4 percent in a single cell with 1cm2 active area was demonstrated under solar spectrum illumination – the highest ever achieved with a non-fullerene acceptor-, while under indoor light exposure, the device shows an efficiency as high as 24 percent.

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