Cytec Industries Inc. (USA), a global leader in specialty chemicals and materials, and IMEC (Belgium), Europe's leading independent nanoelectronics research institute, recently announced collaboration to develop a commercially viable technology for organic photovoltaic devices with enhanced stability and extended lifetime. The combined research will be focused on increasing the operational lifetime of organic solar cells must be improved to extend beyond 5 years. As a result, the joint programme will tackle intrinsic stability issues of organic PV cells by stabilizing the nanomorphology of the active material blend. IMEC has already shown that the photo-active blend of conjugated polymers and fullerene acceptor molecules is prone to phase segregation under the influence of time and temperature. To halt this, IMEC and Cytec will join their expertise in chemical synthesis and materials processing.
Concurrently, the ingress of extrinsic degradation sources of oxygen and water vapor will be suppressed by the development of an appropriate barrier, encapsulation technology. The technology solutions will build on Cytec's core competencies of interfacial engineering and coating technology and on IMEC's background in organic solar cell processing and analysis. The project, which is co-sponsored by the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders, will run for two years and will end in March, 2011.