Printed solar cell set to transform electronics manufacturing | 9/19/2018 | Staff
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Researchers have achieved a new efficiency record in organic photovoltaic cells. The process could improve the production of new devices for energy harvesting and lighting.

The emerging field of organic electronics is already altering the way we use technology. From light emitting diode displays used in televisions, computers and mobile phones, to panels that convert sunlight into electricity, research institutes and companies are increasingly focusing on the potential of these applications. Enter SmartLine and CORNET, the EU-funded projects tackling the issue of manufacturing in this sector.

Organic - Electronic - Technologies - OET - Press

As explained in an Organic Electronic Technologies (OET) press release, a research and development team supported by SmartLine has reported an efficiency of 7.4 percent for a "fully Roll-to-Roll (R2R) printed polymer-based single junction Organic Photovoltaic (OPV) cell." The team of ΟΕΤ, one of the partners in SmartLine, hopes to achieve 9 percent efficiency in OPV cells by 2021. Quoted in the same press release, the company's CEO says the "new result supports efforts for OPV panels mass production [of] up to 1.000.000 m2 annually, targeting various pilot demonstration projects in 2021."

Although OPVs aren't currently as efficient at generating electricity as silicon-based solar cells, their performance has improved in recent years. The fact that they can be made rapidly on thin plastic sheets using established printing processes makes them attractive due to reduced manufacturing costs. It's also possible to stick them to virtually any surface or object for a ready-made source of power. Therefore, the implementation of OPVs could be expanded into existing and new consumer products in a wide range of areas. These include "Energy, Lighting, Displays and Surfaces, Electronic Circuits, all (Bio) Sensors,...
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