The work was carried out in cooperation with the University of Ulm and TU Dresden, was measured by the accredited testing facility SGS.
The 12.0% record cell on a standard size of 1.1 cm² combines two patented absorber materials, which convert light of different wavelengths.
According to the company, using two different absorber materials creates a stronger absorption of photons and improves energetic utilization through a higher photovoltage.
“Due to organic photovoltaic material’s behaviour at high temperatures and low light conditions, this 12% efficiency is comparable to about 14% to 15% efficiency for traditional solar technologies like crystalline silicon and thin film PV.
“Our continuous progress comforts us in our ability to reach 15% efficiency by 2015 and gradually transfer our record efficiencies into Heliatek’s roll-to-roll production line,” said Thibaud Le Séguillon, CEO of Heliatek.
“We manufacture solar films and not solar panels,” said Le Séguillon. “Our customers in the building and construction material industry, in automotive and in light structures, such as shading and street furniture, are integrating these solar films as energy harvesting components to increase the functionality of their products,” .
Dr. Martin Pfeiffer, co-founder and CTO of Heliatek, added: “Achieving an unprecedented 12% OPV efficiency is a clear validation of Heliatek’s choice not to focus on printed polymers but to go with vacuum deposited oligomers. This technology has been used successfully for OLED displays over the last decade.”
Heliatek’s OPV technology based on small molecules (oligomers) is currently being transferred to commercial production. The first production line was launched in spring 2012 and Heliatek Solar Films are already being delivered to industry partners for product development.
“Vacuum deposition allows for extremely thin yet homogeneous layers down to 5nm – that is only one ten thousandth of a human hair or twice the size of a strand of a human DNA,” said Pfeiffer.