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Effort Focuses On Extending Photovoltaic Lifetimes

Leuven, Belgium and Woodland Park, N.J., USA: Chemical and materials company Cytec Industries and European nanoelectronics research institute IMEC will jointly develop a commercially viable technology to improve stability and extend the operating lifetime of organic photovoltaic devices.

The collaboration will be approached from two different angles. Firstly, intrinsic stability issues of organic solar cells will be tackled by stabilizing the nanomorphology of the active material blend. IMEC has already shown that the photoactive blend of conjugated polymers and fullerene acceptor molecules is prone to phase segregation under the influence of time and temperature.

To solve this, IMEC and Cytec will combine their chemical synthesis and materials processing knowledge. Concurrently, the ingress of extrinsic degradation sources of oxygen and water vapour will be suppressed by the development of an appropriate barrier, encapsulation technology.

The technology solutions will build on Cytec’s core competencies of interfacial engineering and coating technology and on IMEC’s background in organic solar cell processing and analysis. The project, co-sponsored by the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders, N.J., will run for two years, ending in March 2011.

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