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ALABO Photovoltaics Project Closes

EuroPhotonics
Mar 2018
DRESDEN, Germany — The Europe-based ALABO project has completed its mission to develop organic electronic building elements on flexible substrates with monolithically integrated barrier foils as substrate.

"We were able to prove that the existing layer structure can be processed with industrial-grade laser systems,” said Merve Anderson, project manager of Heliatek GmbH. “By changing certain parameters in processing, we were able to achieve damage-free structuring on the barriers. The findings from the ALABO project are a door opener for roll-to-roll direct encapsulation.”

Highest precision is required with laser structuring.
High precision is required with laser structuring. Courtesy of Heliatek GmbH.

A team of engineers and scientists from Holland, France, Poland and Germany worked together in an interdisciplinary manner for the past three years to build the foundations for the next generation of organic solar cell encapsulation technology. In order to interconnect solar cells directly produced on barrier films, the requirements call for a precise, detailed, gentle laser structuring. The biggest challenge within the complex laser process is to selectively ablate certain layers of the organic photovoltaix layer stack in the nanometer range without sacrificing the functionality of the directly underlying and ultrathin barrier layer. The performance of the barrier has a direct effect on the life cycle of the solar cells.

In addition to process development, the feasibility of machine solutions for production was considered as another important research topic, as well as the progress on accelerated barrier measurement methods.

If the direct encapsulation is later transferred to production, it can significantly increase the service life of solar cells and at the same time reduce the volume of functional films itself. The higher efficiency in use of materials saves additional resources in the already energy-efficient production of solar cells, ultimately making the product cost-effective, as well.

Partners included the HOLST Center, the French National Center for Scientific Research, The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, The Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology, Sorter SP, 3D-Micromac AG and Heliatek.

Businessresearch and developmentALABOMerve AndersonHeliatekHOLST CenterFrench National Center for Scientific ResearchFrench Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy CommissionFraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technologysorter3D-Micromac AGphotovoltaicsEuropeEuro News

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