New record voltage for organic solar cells opens the tech to consumer electronics

Oct 17, 2011
This is professor Tim Jones of the University of Warwick. Credit: University of Warwick

Molecular Solar Ltd, a spinout company from the University of Warwick, has achieved a significant breakthrough in the performance of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells. They have achieved and demonstrated a record voltage for organic photovoltaic cells that means these highly flexible, low cost solar cells can now be devolved for commercial uses in a wide range of consumer electronics.

The Company's most recent advance in the development of its organic photovoltaic (OPV) cell technology is the realisation of cells with open-circuit voltages in excess of 4 volts for the first time. Molecular Solar's research team believe this is a record for an OPV device. Dr Ross Hatton, Research Director of the company commented:

"This is an important advance. We are now very close to having highly flexible organic photovoltaic cells that will be capable of delivering electrical energy at a voltage suitable for recharging lithium ion batteries that are widely used in portable consumer electronics. Remarkably, this high voltage is achieved using a cell with only 4 junctions (sub-cells)''.

University of Warwick researcher Professor Tim Jones, who is Chief Technology Officer of Molecular Solar, added: "The first generation of organic will be exceptionally well matched to . The advantage of Molecular Solar's high voltage cells is that a single cell can be used with no requirement to connect multiple cells in series for these applications, saving manufacturing cost. ''

Andrew Oldfield, Head of Cleantech at Mercia Fund Management said, "We were attracted to Molecular Solar's unique approach to realizing truly flexible, environmentally sustainable photovoltaics that are well matched to the burgeoning portable ."

Molecular Solar are currently finalising a £5m investment round to complete the up-scaling of their OPV and MS-Flexifilm electrode technology.

Explore further: Imec demonstrates organic photovoltaics modules showing excellent optical properties, high efficiencies

Related Stories

Organic solar cell breakthrough

Sep 15, 2011

NPL scientists have achieved a significant breakthrough in the metrology of organic photovoltaics – a solar power technology. The research demonstrated a new type of atomic force microscopy that can 'see' ...

Recommended for you

Yale engineer to build 'hot' solar cells

9 hours ago

Associate professor of electrical engineering Minjoo Larry Lee has been awarded $2,540,000 to develop dual-junction solar cells that can operate efficiently at extreme temperatures above 750 degrees Fahrenheit. ...

Fracking's environmental impacts scrutinised

10 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Greenhouse gas emissions from the production and use of shale gas would be comparable to conventional natural gas, but the controversial energy source actually faired better than renewables on some environmental ...

User comments : 7

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Sonhouse
5 / 5 (2) Oct 17, 2011
Funny they don't say what efficiency rating the new cell have.
StarGazer2011
1 / 5 (1) Oct 17, 2011
in a related issue, they dont mention the sort of area of cells required to say run a smart phone, which is obviously a function of efficiency, which they dont mention.
Hmmm whats the point of having a solar charger for your smartphone if the sun has gone down before its finnished charging?
Ojorf
not rated yet Oct 18, 2011
Hmmm whats the point of having a solar charger for your smartphone if the sun has gone down before its finnished charging?


Duh! Since the sun does not shine 24h a day any solar powered device is obviously useless, huh?

Why not just plug it in a bit earlier?
Bonkers
not rated yet Oct 18, 2011
erm, the sun shines continuously, its a star.
Oh, and even on earth, at the poles in summer it shines 24 hours per day.
fewjr56
not rated yet Oct 18, 2011
DUH - Think -think! Better to keep one's mouth closed and let people think you're an idiot ...
hemitite
not rated yet Oct 18, 2011
Think of what those poor fellows must go through trying to do solar cell work in that dimly lit land!
kaasinees
1 / 5 (1) Oct 18, 2011
Think of what those poor fellows must go through trying to do solar cell work in that dimly lit land!

Less UV radiation means longer lasting PV cells though.