Toyobo to practicalize power-generating material for OPV with world's top-level conversion efficiency under room light

2020-03-25 13:06 581

OSAKA, Japan, March 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyobo Co., Ltd. and the French government research institute CEA have succeeded in making trial organic photovoltaics (OPV) small cells on a glass substrate with the world's top-level conversion efficiency*1 in a dim room, and trial OPV modules on a lightweight and thin PET (polyethylene terephthalate) film substrate during their joint research project. The trial products use a power-generating material for OPV that Toyobo has been developing.

To put the material into practical use at an early date, Toyobo conducted the joint research with CEA for six months from June last year. During the undertaking, Toyobo and CEA succeeded in making the OPV small cells on a glass substrate with the world's top-level conversion efficiency by optimizing the solvents and coating technique. In a verification experiment under neon lighting with 220 lux, equivalent to the brightness of a dark room, the trial product was confirmed to have attained a conversion efficiency of about 25 percent, or 60 percent higher*3 than that of amorphous silicon solar cells commonly used for desktop calculators. They also completed prototype OPV modules on a PET film substrate with an effective area of 18 square centimeters although coating a power-generating material on a PET film, which was more difficult than on a glass substrate. The module was able to output about 130 microwatts under the same illumination.

Toyobo plans to propose the use of this material mainly to solar cell makers, based on the know-how acquired through the joint research. Firstly, the company aims to have the material used by March 2023 mainly as a wireless power source for temperature-humidity and motion sensors.

*1 According to Toyobo's research as of March 23, 2020
*2 According to Toyobo's press release dated July 31, 2019
*3 Compared with a conversion efficiency of 16 percent for general amorphous silicon solar cells, as measured by Toyobo under a brightness of 220 luxes

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Source: Toyobo Co., Ltd.