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Heliatek sets new record OPV efficiency of 13.2%

09 Feb 2016

Solar film pioneer says it is well on the way towards achieving 15% efficient organic solar cells.

Researchers at solar film developer Heliatek have achieved what they are calling “a record conversion efficiency” of 13.2% for an OPV (organic photovoltaic) multi-junction cell, which sets a new high water mark for the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity. The measurement was independently confirmed by the Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics (CSP).

Heliatek said that “thanks to the excellent low light and high temperature behavior of the organic semiconductor, the electricity generation of the newly developed cells corresponds to the output of conventional solar cells with 16 to 17% efficiency when both are under real world conditions.”

This new result confirms the leading technology position of Heliatek as demonstrated by its continuous progress from 3% to more than 13% efficiency over the past 10 years, the company added. It also supports its roadmap towards 15% efficient organic solar cells. The result further validates Heliatek's technology approach of using vacuum deposition of small molecules on plastic films.

Chemical research

Dr. Martin Pfeiffer, CTO of Heliatek, said, “This success is based on our chemical research for new organic absorber materials. Key to this success is the close cooperation of our physics and chemistry R&D teams, which has led to an optimal combination of the properties of this new solar cell design.”

Thibaud Le Séguillon, CEO of Heliatek, added, “This latest result validates our choice to internalize our R&D, both by developing new absorber molecules and optimizing the device architecture. This will provide the baseline for efficiency in our large-volume manufacturing line. With our HeliaFilm, we are clearly executing our strategy to provide de-carbonized, de-centralized energy generation directly on buildings all over the world."

The world-record cell is a multi-junction cell combining three different absorbers. Each of them is dedicated to efficiently convert green-, red- or near-infrared light of the wavelength range between 450 and 950 nm into electricity. These absorber molecules have been developed and are patented by Heliatek.

The new record efficiency was measured at simulated AM 1.5 illumination and was confirmed by the Fraunhofer - Center for Silizium-Photovoltaik - CSP in Halle, a recognized center for independent verification of solar cell performance results under standard testing conditions.

Heliatek

Heliatek spun off in 2006 from the Technical University of Dresden and the University of Ulm. Through both its leading edge material development and its proven capability for volume manufacturing, Heliatek is the first company to begin commercialization of large area OPV solar film. Its business model is to supply the custom-designed HeliaFilm to partners in industries such as building and construction materials, automotive and light architectural structures. Heliatek maintains a total staff of some 80 specialists at its facilities in Dresden and Ulm, Germany.

Investors in Heliatek include leading industrial and financial companies such as BASF, Innogy Venture Capital, Wellington Partners, eCapital and Aqton SE. Research and development work, as well as the installation of production technology, has been funded by the Free State of Saxony, the Federal Republic of Germany.

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