The Greek company OET has achieved a new efficiency record for a single junction organic polymer photovoltaic cell. Organic solar cells are slowly making their way in an industry dominated by silicon.

Printing systems have revolutionized solar technology by expanding the range of end applications and reducing production costs. But there is still a long way to go before we can produce the perfect product.

This manufacturing technique is particularly suitable for organic photovoltaics, in which traditional semiconductors are replaced by vegetable pigments or carbon-based polymer inks. The flexibility of the substrates used and their size make them ideal for roll-to-roll (R2R) production. Your problem? Printed organic solar cells still have very low conversion efficiencies to compete commercially with the current ones.

A European research team led by the Greek company OET (Organic Electronic Technologies), has raised the bar in Europe. The company’s engineers established a new world record for a single junction organic polymer photovoltaic cell, 7.4% (The LTFN Nanotechnology Laboratory at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki independently certified the achieved value).

Efficiency is still low, but can be of interest for a number of specific applications, such as lights, displays, portable electronics, and biosensors. Or like the lounge chair presented at the last Nanotexnology Expo 2018 in Thessaloniki.

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Obviously, the objective of the company is to continue to improve the product: according to the roadmap published by the OET itself, printed organic solar cells are expected to exceed 9% efficiency by 2021. In the Press release Accompanying the announcement of the record, OET CEO Vasilis Matsko notes that the new result supports “efforts to produce OPV (Organic PhotoVoltaic) panels up to 1,000,000 m2 per year on a commercial scale, with the implementation of several pilot projects in 2021“.

The innovation is supported by different research projects in which the Greek company has participated, both at national and European level: such as the Smartonics project and the Gladiator project of EU FP7, and projects funded by the H2020 program such as Factory of the Avenir, SmartLine project and the project HORN EU H2020, or UE FP7 Smartonics project, Gladiator Project.