Weekly Email News – the future of the building industry

Solar record
Polyera Corporation has achieved a certified world-record 9.1% efficient polymer/fullerene organic solar cell in an inverted bulk heterojunction architecture using its newest proprietary ActivInk PV2000 semiconductor material.

The high efficiency of this material in an inverted architecture, in combination with its other leading-edge properties, represents a substantial breakthrough in the development of organic solar cell technology for large-scale manufacturing of low-cost, lightweight, flexible, and optically semi-transparent solar modules.

Organic solar cells can be manufactured on large areas at high speeds on lightweight substrates like plastic, but still require further increases in efficiency and operational lifetime to be truly cost-competitive with traditional energy sources.

However, in the short term, other properties unique to organic solar cells – such as the ability to be light, flexible, and optically semi-transparent – make them perfectly suited for use in architectural or other design areas, such as windows that also act as solar panels, for use in office buildings or cars, where other energy technologies are infeasible. The key challenge, then, is enabling efficient enough organic solar technology that can also be cost-effectively and reliably manufactured at industrial scale.

The latest results from Polyera represent a significant step in that direction, demonstrating 9.1% power-conversion efficiency (how much energy from the sun is converted into usable electricity) combined with other very important – but often overlooked – factors that affect a technology's true commercial viability.

"We have concentrated our [solar] work on the chemistry of these materials and found a new way to design and combine the active layer building blocks to maximise certain optical and electrical properties," said Antonio Facchetti, founder and CTO of Polyera. "These latest results bring us a significant step closer to enabling true commercialisation."