A three-year program is underway to commercialize highly flexible organic photovoltaics (OPV) modules using inexpensive materials produced with compatible roll-to-roll printing and coating techniques. The European research project, dubbed ‘HIFLEX,’ is being coordinated by Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) and includes several universities as well as industrial partners, Dr Schenk and Agfa-Gevaert. Commercially, the technology is being developed for a wide variety of ICT products in the mobile electronics market.
The flexible thin film technology will be free of indium tin oxide (ITO) using scalable, reproducible and commercially viable printing and coating techniques. Dr Schenk has experience in the inline process and quality control of R2R techniques, while Agfa-Gevaert is known for developing silver (Ag) grid lines, and PEDOT antistatic coatings as well as developing innovative coating solutions.
Based on their expertise in the field of device and module engineering, upscaling and large-area printing, and long-term lifetime testing, the universities involved in the program include ECN, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy (Risø DTU), TNO/Holst Centre, and UK Materials Technology Research Institute (MaTRI).