Heliatek wins Materials Award for its breakthrough solar cell technology at IDTechEx Printed Electronics

4th April 2012
ES Admin
Heliatek GmbH has won the Materials Award at the IDTechEx Printed Electronics EUROPE 2012 in Berlin. This is the latest in a succession of awards for Heliatek's innovative organic solar film technology that promises to deliver a lighter, greener and more versatile alternative to traditional solar panels.
The IDTechEx Printed Electronics Awards recognize company innovation, success and technology development in the field of printed, organic and flexible electronics. The Materials Award is given to the organization that has made the most significant development in enabling materials technology over the past 24 months. The judges were Professor Iain McCulloch, Imperial College London and Professor Elvira Fortunato, New University of Lisbon. One judge comments on Heliatek, Heliatek materials have reached unparalleled performance for small molecules and have significantly stimulated the field of organic photovoltaics.

One of Heliatek's unique strengths is its in-house Chemistry Lab, developing and synthetizing new molecules. The material that won the award was developed through a very close collaboration between Heliatek's Physics and Chemistry departments. This new, small molecule, absorber material is called HDR14™. It offers high and broad absorption as well as good thermal and photo stability. HDR14™ has been key to Heliatek setting a series of world breaking efficiency records for organic PV cells, with the most recent being 9.8 % last November (independently certified by Fraunhofer ISE CalLab).

Thibaud Le Séguillon, CEO of Heliatek, says, We are pleased to have won another prestigious award. Our solar technology offers many advantages over traditional panels and opens up new application areas thanks to its key features, namely ultra-light, ultra-thin, flexible and transparent. The Heliatek solar cells keep working efficiently in real world conditions as they maintain the same efficiency in low lighting and in hot conditions. Our cells have reached efficiency levels that start to make them marketable and we are confident that we will follow our plan to achieve 15 % efficiency in the next few years.

Dr. Martin Pfeiffer, Heliatek's CTO, adds, Our technology is essentially the reverse of organic LEDs (OLED) - they take in electricity and emit light while we use light to create electricity. Heliatek is the only commercial player specializing in vacuum deposition of small molecules in organic photovoltaics, following the successful manufacturing approach of all major OLED display companies. There are many clear advantages for using this approach to create our patented tandem cell structure such as the excellent uniformity of the roll-to-roll vapor deposition process and scalability. We can use the tried and tested OLED manufacturing equipment to enable us to have a rapid ramp. In addition, ours is the first truly green solar technology as very little energy and material are required in our non-toxic production process, so the energy payback time of our cells is much shorter, under 6 months, than the one of silicon cells.

Pior to the Printed Electronics Materials Award, Heliatek's core technology of small organic molecules and its driving researchers Dr. Martin Pfeiffer (CTO and co-founder of Heliatek), Prof. Karl Leo (TU Dresden/co-founder of Heliatek), and Dr. Jan Blochwitz-Nimoth (Novaled AG), have been recognized with the 2011 Deutscher Zukunftspreis, the German President's Award for Technology and Innovation.

Heliatek has just opened its first proof-of-concept production line with a roll-to-roll process in Dresden, Germany, and is currently raising its next round of financing of €60 million from current and new investors for a 75 MW production line to rapidly expand production volume after official start of production in late summer 2012.

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