Imec, Polyera, Solvay set 8.3% efficiency record for organic solar cell with inverted device

Dec 15, 2011

Imec, Polyera and international chemical group Solvay have achieved a new world-record efficiency of 8.3% for polymer-based single junction organic solar cells in an inverted device stack. These excellent performance results represent a crucial step towards successful commercialization of organic photovoltaic cells.

Solar power is gradually becoming cost-competitive with traditional mainstream energy sources such as coal, oil, and nuclear. Continued reduction of manufacturing and installation costs of will further drive this cost-competitiveness. Organic solar cells are holding the promise of addressing these issues, due to their potential to be manufactured on large-areas at high-throughput, and on lightweight, (like plastic or textiles), significantly reducing transportation and installation costs. This, along with optical translucency, gives organic solar cells the potential to be cheaply integrated into everything from clothing to building facades and windows.

Imec has developed a proprietary inverted bulk heterojunction architecture for polymer-based solar cells that simultaneously optimizes cell light management and increases device stability. With this architecture, and a proprietary Polyera semiconductor in the photoactive layer, a team of imec and Solvay researchers now announces a certified of 8.3%. This is the highest certified efficiency reported to date in the world for inverted polymer cell architectures.

This result follows previous reports on imec’s proprietary device architecture, proving that scalable inverted device architectures are applicable to a variety of polymer materials. Although further improvements of efficiency and lifetime are required to bring this potentially-revolutionary technology to market, inverted device architectures offer a number of commercially-relevant benefits over standard architectures. As such, this milestone represents another advancement towards commercially-viable organic solar panels.

Tom Aernouts, R&D Team Leader Organic Photovoltaics at imec: “These excellent results are the fruit of an intense collaboration between Solvay, and Polyera. It is remarkable to see how the inverted architecture adds to the performance of these cells! This shows how crucial the combination of high-level device technology and next-generation materials will be to bring to the market.”

Explore further: Team improves solar-cell efficiency

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Team improves solar-cell efficiency

Sep 19, 2014

New light has been shed on solar power generation using devices made with polymers, thanks to a collaboration between scientists in the University of Chicago's chemistry department, the Institute for Molecular ...

Calif. teachers fund to boost clean energy bets

Sep 19, 2014

The California State Teachers' Retirement System says it plans to increase its investments in clean energy and technology to $3.7 billion, from $1.4 billion, over the next five years.

Idealistic Norwegian sun trappers

Sep 19, 2014

The typical Norwegian owner of a solar heating system is a resourceful man in his mid-fifties. He is technically skilled, interested in energy systems, and wants to save money and protect the environment.

User comments : 0