EU project aims to improve organic photovoltaics

A European Union (EU) project aims to improve the efficiency of organic solar cells that can absorb more energy than traditional photovoltaic devices.

The X10D programme, led by Belgian nanoelectronics research firm Imec, also aims to reduce the production costs of these multi-junction or ‘tandem’ organic cells, which capture sunlight at multiple wavelengths and so can generate more energy.

Current organic photovoltaic (OPV) technologies are unstable when exposed to the ambient environment and their power conversion efficiencies are not yet sufficient to compete with existing silicon solar cells.

The X10D project aims to increase the power conversion efficiency to achieve at least a 12 per cent on cell level (1cm²) and nine per cent on module level (100cm²) by applying new designs and architectures, materials and manufacturing technologies.

The researchers also hope to achieve a minimum of 20 years’ lifetime for OPV modules on glass, 10 years on foil and to decrease the cost below €0.70 per watt-peak.

The ultimate goal of the project is to introduce OPV to the thin-film PV market.