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  • Efficiency Record Set for Organic Solar Cell
Dec 2011
LEUVEN & BRUSSELS, Belgium, and SKOKIE, Ill., Dec. 30, 2011 — Belgian research center Imec, electronic materials supplier Polyera and international chemical group Solvay have achieved a world-record efficiency of 8.3 percent for polymer-based single-junction organic solar cells in an inverted device stack. This accomplishment represents a promising step toward the commercialization of organic solar cells.

Organic solar cell with inverted device architecture and 8.3 percent efficiency. (Image: Imec)

Because solar cells can be manufactured in large-area format at high throughput, and on lightweight, flexible substrates (such as plastic or textiles), the transportation and installation costs are reduced. This, along with optical translucency, gives organic solar cells the potential to be inexpensively integrated into products ranging from clothing to building facades and windows.

Imec 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, the research team announced a certified conversion efficiency rate of 8.3 percent, which is the highest certified efficiency reported in the world to date for inverted polymer cell architectures.

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, said Imec.

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