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Posted: Apr 26, 2012

Researcher awarded with "Green Photonics" award for organic solar cells

(Nanowerk News) Scientist Jan Meiss has been awarded with the "Green Photonics" for young academics on April 23, 2012 at the Hanover Fair. Within his dissertation in cooperation with Heliatek GmbH and Fraunhofer IPMS COMEDD he succeeded in the development of new concepts for organic solar cells with high impact: his solar cells are four times more efficient as conventional organic solar cells.
Producing electricity from sun light sounds easy and tempting. But photovoltaics came under criticism because of its high costs. Depending on the type of the solar cells costs are caused by rare and expensive materials.
The so called "organic photovoltaic" (OPV) also known as "plastic solar cells" has a high potential for the reduction of costs. The technology is now ready to enter the market and can be carried out under low temperatures (< 400C) using cost-saving materials and the complete solar cell could be thinner than 500 nanometers! Organic materials are dyes based on carbonates, well known in the daily life as food colorant or car finish. The vision is a light weight, thin solar cell at plastic foil with a weight of 500 g per square meter active solar cell area, which can be rollable, transportable and easy integrable. Especially transparent devices are high of interest for the integration of photovoltaic into faces of buildings or "power windows" windows, which can be used as a sunscreen as well as power generator.
The dissertation of Jan Meiss resulted in important progress for organic solar cells: he developed amongst others alternatives to conventional transparent conductive layers (e.g. ITO Indium-Tin-Oxid), which can conserve resources, save costs and are easy to produce.
Jan Meiss says: "Because of an optimized layer composition we succeded in the development of an organic solar cell with an efficiency of 4,9% and a transmission of 20%. This means: one-fifth of the irradiated light goes completely through the organic solar cell. The efficiency of the transparent organic solar cell has been seven times higher as known from literature and is unbeaten until now."
"Green Photonics" award young academics, who work on innovative optical technologies with economically potential for a sustainable life. Jan Meiss has achieved this objectives with his dissertation at the Technical University of Dresden (IAPP) with support of Heliatek and the Fraunhofer IPMS COMEDD. The TU Dresden and Fraunhofer IPMS COMEDD has established a cooperation model "Innovationscampus" for R&D of novel organic devices.
About "Green Photonics" award
The "Green Photonics" award for young academics will be awarded through the Fraunhofer-Innovationscluster and the Fraunhofer-Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF under financial support of Robert Bosch GmbH and VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH. Bachelor-, Master- and Diploma thesis can be warded as well as dissertations, which work on innovative optical technologies with economically potential for a sustainable life. The jury consists of members from industry and science. The award ceremony took place at the Hanover Fair at April 23, 2012.
In recent years Dresden has evolved into a research center for organic materials and systems. In order to transfer the results to production further improvements in the production process and the establishment as well as the testing of first pilot-production lines are necessary. The Center of Organic Materials and Electronic Devices Dresden (COMEDD) meanwhile an independent branch of the Fraunhofer IPMS - combines research and development works for the production, integration and technology of organic devices. The focus of COMEDD lies in customer- and application orientated research, development and pilot fabrication of novel module concepts and fabrication methods for these organic materials. COMEDD is a European-wide leading production-related research and development center for organic semiconductors focusing on organic light-emitting diodes and vacuum technology.
Source: Fraunhofer Society
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