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Two firms sign deal to develop solar cells

Posted: 03 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:solar cell? power? energy? manufacturing?

Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) and Plextronics Inc. have inked an agreement to collaborate on the production of advanced materials to create organic solar cells.

With this partnership, IMEC seeks to manufacture a reproducible process for high-efficiency organic solar cells using Plextronics' Plexcore branded materials and inks, which have shown global efficiencies as high as 5.9 percent, based on the latest study made by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado.

IMEC targets to create organic multijunction solar cells with 10 percent efficiency by 2012. This is in line with the company's objective of upscaling the process to develop a large area in processing an industrial manufacturing technology with a 7 percent average efficiency ( 0.5 percent) and five-year solar cell's shelf life.

To achieve these goals, highly reproducible materials are essential. In its initial phase, IMEC will look into Plexcore OS, which is a region-regular poly-3-hexylthiophene (P3HT) polymer with a high absorption coefficient near the maximum photon flux in the solar spectrum and high mobility. Plexcore OS materials will be processed by employing spin coating and film morphology, carrier mobility and reproducibility will be observed. Solar cells will be created on different substrates using the material's spin-coated films.

Future studies will include analysis of other Plexcore materials and inks, using deposition techniques like screen and inkjet printing and spray coating on large-area substrates.

"Plextronics' materials look very promising for high-efficiency reproducible organic solar cells," said Jef Poortmans, program director solar, IMEC.

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