Imec demonstrates organic photovoltaics modules

23 September 2014

Photo - TwoBee
Photo - TwoBee

At the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, the research agency shows a fullerene-free organic PV module.

The module measures 160cm² achieving a conversion efficiency above five per cent, and a semi-transparent OPV module with an efficiency above 4.5 per cent. Both modules are claimed to show ‘excellent’ electrical and optical properties.

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 OPV module achieved efficiencies of more than five per cent in an opaque configuration on a glass substrate. Moreover, a performance of 8.4 per cent in a single cell with 1cm² active area was demonstrated under solar spectrum illumination – the highest ever achieved with a non-fullerene acceptor, claims the company, while under indoor light exposure, the device shows an efficiency as high as 24 per cent.

The semi transparent OPV module, based on a polymer-fullerene blend, and using systems of metal oxide layers and thin metal films as transparent electrical contacts, achieved power efficiencies above 4.5 per cent. This module effectively combines double glass window properties with device encapsulation, as such increasing life time and enabling window-integrated photovoltaic solutions.

The research into thin-film photovoltaics is part of the Solliance initiative.

The development of a fullerene-free OPV process received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme
(FP7/2007-2013) under Grant Agreement 287818 (X10D).

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