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IMEC and Cytec Collaborate to Increase the Lifetime of Organic Photovoltaics

Published on 2009-04-15. Author : SpecialChem

WOODLAND PARK, NJ, and LEUVEN, Belgium -- Cytec Industries Inc., a global leader in specialty chemicals and materials, and IMEC, Europe's leading independent nanoelectronics research institute, announce that they will work together to develop a commercially viable technology for organic photovoltaic devices with enhanced stability and extended lifetime.

Over the last few years, worldwide research on organic solar cells has mainly focused on increasing the conversion efficiency. However, the operational lifetime of organic solar cells must be improved to extend beyond 5 years. This challenge is the basis of the collaboration between Cytec and IMEC.

To reach this goal the project will be approached from two different angles. First, intrinsic stability issues of organic solar cells will be tackled 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.

Cytec's Specialty Chemicals Vice President of R&D, Martin Court, said: "Cytec is very pleased to have the opportunity to work on this project together with IMEC. We are convinced that Cytec's capabilities in coatings, adhesives, inks and energy curing technology combined with IMEC's outstanding processing and technology capabilities will make this project a success."

IMEC's Program Director Photovoltaics, Jef Poortmans, added: "Organic solar cell technology is one of the most exciting emerging technologies for low-cost photovoltaic cells. IMEC is very pleased to have the opportunity to combine its process technology expertise with the excellent skills of Cytec in the field of synthesis and coatings to address the crucial issue of device stability and encapsulation".

About IMEC:

IMEC is a world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. IMEC vzw is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, has a sister company in the Netherlands, IMEC-NL, offices in the US, China and Taiwan, and representatives in Japan. Its staff of more than 1650 people includes about 550 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2008, its revenue (P&L) was estimated to EUR 270 million. IMEC's More Moore research aims at semiconductor scaling towards sub-32nm nodes. With its More than Moore research, IMEC looks into technologies for nomadic embedded systems, wireless autonomous transducer solutions, biomedical electronics, photovoltaics, organic electronics and GaN power electronics. IMEC's research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure and its strong network worldwide position IMEC as a key partner for shaping technologies for future systems.

About Cytec:

Cytec Industries Inc. is a global specialty chemicals and materials company focused on developing, manufacturing and selling value-added products. Our products serve a diverse range of end markets including aerospace, adhesives, automotive and industrial coatings, chemical intermediates, electronics, inks, mining and plastics. We use our technology and application development expertise to create chemical and material solutions that are formulated to perform specific and important functions in the finished products of our customers.

Source: Cytec Industries Inc.


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