Thursday, 12 September 2013

Polymer-based organic solar cells developed in UAE
10 Jul 2013

A UAE-based university has claimed that its researchers have fabricated the very first polymer based organic solar cell, marking a technological breakthrough for the oil-rich country in the clean energy sector.

Mejd Alsari, a UAE national student, and Samuele Lilliu, a post-doctoral fellow working at the Nano-Optics and Optoelectronics Research (NOOR) Laboratory have fabricated the first polymer-based organic photovoltaic solar cell (OPV), which can also be conveniently printed on flexible substrates, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology said in a statement.

This has been achieved using Masdar Institute's cleanroom facilities internally without any assistance from external fabrication facilities or expertise, the institute said.

"The OPVs with advanced aesthetic characteristics such as colours and design will be developed with inkjet-printing deposition techniques. These prototypes could be highly interesting for Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) applications and designers globally and in the region. ]

Further to the OPVs research, large area organic photo-detectors based on the same technology, with potential applications in the medical, security and entertainment industry could also be prepared", it said. These are also the very first solar cells fabricated at the Masdar Institute cleanroom. A start-up venture based in Masdar City to transfer prototypes into final products may also be set up at a later stage, it added.

"The outstanding feat of our researchers and faculty consolidates the status of Masdar Institute as a research-driven institution, continuously striving to contribute to the Abu Dhabi's long-term objectives in advanced technology", Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said.

The first bulk-heterojunction OPV solar cells fabricated at Masdar Institute are part of a new major research project on organic photo-detectors undertaken by Dr. Lilliu and Dr. Dahlem from the NOOR Laboratory.

Established as an on-going collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow.