German Heliatek GmbH Achieves Breakthrough in Organic Solar Cell Efficiency

As part of a joint research project carried out together with the Technical University of Dresden’s Institute of Applied Photo-Physics, the Dresden-based Heliatek GmbH  has achieved a break-through in organic solar-cell efficiency. With a certified efficiency of 7.7 % over an active area of 1.1 cm², a new record was set for organic solar cells.

The previous highest certified value for organic solar cells with practical relevance was 6.1 %. It too was set by Heliatek in 2009, together with its partners, the IAPP and BASF. The certification of the cells was carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, an independent and globally recognised testing laboratory. The term “with practical relevance” usually denotes solar cells with an active area of above 1 cm², as these already display all the main characteristics of large solar panels.

The achievement of this new value represents a decisive step forward, as it is the first time organic solar cells have achieved the same level of efficiency under laboratory conditions as commercial PV cells made of amorphous silicon. Thus, the specific advantages of organic solar cells are coming now into their own: at modest cost, and with extremely low material an energy requirements and low processing temperatures, they can be deposited on inexpensive carrier materials such as glass or plastic foil. The required layer thickness lies in the region of 100 nanometres (1/10 000 mm), so that less than one gram of organic semi-conducting material is required per square metre.

Heliatek is set to begin pilot production for the roll-to-roll manufacturing of organic solar cells. Introductory products are to hit the market at the end of 2011.

Source: Press Release eCapital

2 Responses to “German Heliatek GmbH Achieves Breakthrough in Organic Solar Cell Efficiency”


  • This is fascinating! Could I learn more about it? I first saw the video on 3B-Nexus.com from the CleanEquity – Monaco 2009 conference. Exactly what are “organic” solar cells?

    Why will it take until the end of 2011 to market? If I build a new house would it be possible to use this technology for energy? Can the organic solar cells be adapted to older homes and to heat outdoor swimming pools?
    Or is it just for big commercial applications?

  • Satish Sankaralingam

    Thats record efficiency! I am wondering what they have used ,is it a tandem solar cells. It will be helpful if more info device can be provided. But nevertheless thats awesome feat!

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