The Organic/Hybrid Printed Photovoltaic field is growing and is reaching the production scale where development of large area processes is needed. To this aim, researchers from CEA-Liten, based at INES, France, have developed a flexible organic photovoltaic module manufactured entirely by inkjet printing processes that demonstrates power conversion efficiency above 4% for high value, custom-made, solar devices.
These results represent the culmination of 4 years of efforts mainly directed towards the development of printing platform with industrial printheads (up to 1024 nozzles), printing process (in ambient air atmosphere) and post-treatment of every layers as well as materials and multi-layer 3D structure optimization. The process route has been optimized on INES technology platform devoted to organic PV. The printed modules with a size of 15x10 cm are constituted from eight individuals cells in the form of stripes interconnected in series are able to produce an electrical output of 0,41 W under 3,8 V. This represents a power conversion efficiency of 4.3% over the active area.
Inkjet printing process actually enables the direct patterning of each layer without any mask leading to an important freedom of design. This technological breakthrough enables the development of fully custom-made printed PV modules covering a wide variety of variables including: electrical characteristics, design, shape or coloration.
This is a strategic leading position for CEA for improved integration of PV modules within mobile electronic devices (laptops, smartphones etc) and Internet of Things applications for example.
Source and top image: CEA-Liten