Mitsubishi Chemical develops world’s first solution conversion type organic photovoltaic
Mitsubishi Chemical, by applying materials and a production technology different to those used for crystalline silicon-type cells, has developed the world’s first solution conversion type organic photovoltaic (OPV). PV works by integrating p- and n-semiconductors to convert light energy into electricity. The newly developed OPV, however, is produced by adding two coatings of organic compounds to a film substrate―one of benzoporphyrin (BP), which acts as the p- semiconductor, and one of fullerene (FLN), which acts as the n-semiconductor. As this renders glass substrates unnecessary, each layer can be of nanosize thickness, enabling the production of extremely thin, highly flexible and easily bendable photovoltaic cells. This broadens the range of potential applications for OPV. For example, it could be installed on the slate roofs of factories, station buildings or other structures not sufficiently strong to bear heavy PV panels.
PV installed outdoors requires high durability. The OPV developed by Mitsubishi Chemical in cooperation with a university research team (the University of Tokyo and Ehime University) has not only excellent conductivity but also superior durability. The surface of the OPV is protected by an airtight barrier film and sealant, ensuring high conversion efficiency and durability. A key priority going forward will be to further improve photovoltaic conversion efficiency, which is the efficiency with which light is converted to electricity. The development program aims to increase OPV efficiency to 10% during 2011. Secure your solar energy for use with 20 amp current handling solar regulators and inverters.