Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


European Research Alliance for the Simplified Production of Organic Solar Cells

A new laser system is being developed to increase the effectivity of organic solar cells. A consortium under the leadership of the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) is working on a tunable infrared laser system for the selective processing of organic layers in opto-electronical components.

A tunable infrared laser system for the selective processing of organic layers in opto-electronical components is the goal of the new research project IMPROV, which started in September, 2010. The EU has provided approximately 2.4 million Euros support from the 7th Framework Programme for the project, which will run until 2013. The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) is coordinator of the project consortium, with seven partners from science and industry.

Organic photovoltaic solar cells (OSC) are made of thin layers of different photo-active polymer films. In order to produce a functional component, these layers must be, among other things, selectively structured. The UV lasers presently used for this process are not precise enough, which often leads to a 20% loss of the active area. With a new laser process – resonant infrared ablation, or RIA for short – this production step can be significantly improved. Due to the different absorption bands of each individual polymer film, RIA can be used for selective cutting, structuring or material removal within the whole layer system. In order to achieve this, a short pulsed laser in the infrared wavelength is used, which can be tuned exactly to the best suitable maximum absorption of the layers to be processed.

This is where the EU project IMPROV „Integrated Mid-infrared high Power source for Resonant ablation of Organic based photovoltaic devices“ comes in, in which a widely tunable, infrared short pulsed laser in the wavelength spectrum between 3 and 10 m is being developed. In order to achieve this, frequency conversion of a 2° µm system in an innovative, non-linear crystal (orientation-patterned gallium arsenide) is necessary.

The market potential for plastic micro-processing applications is enormous. The planned laser system could greatly simplify production process and significantly decrease area losses, especially for organic photovoltaics, (OPV), but also for organic light emitting diodes (OLED) and organic thin-film transistors (OTFT).

Dr. Dieter Wandt, head of the Ultrafast Photonics Group of the LZH, is the IMPROV coordinator. In this project, his group is responsible for developing a completely fiber-based, mode-coupled, ultra-short pulsed thulium fiber laser with tunable output radiation in the wavelength range of 2 µm. Additionally, the typical repetition rate of 40 to 60 MHz must be reduced to 1 MHz. The other partners from Belgium, Denmark and France will amplify the laser output in further thulium-doted fibers, and then convert the laser radiation to the infrared spectral range in optical parameter generators/amplifiers based on GaAs crystals

Dieter Wandt is conscious of with the difficulty facing the LZH. "There is hardly any research on 2µm thulium-based ultra-short pulse fiber lasers, and commercial optical components are nearly non-existent. Also, due to the wavelength range, there are no laser viewers." Nevertheless, the physicist is confident, since the LZH has already gathered experience with this kind of oscillator. Also, the LZH can make some of the fiber-based key components such as pump-light couplers, outcouplers, and filters themselves.

Project partners in IMPROV are, apart from the German firms BATOP und Heliatek, the Interuniversitair MicroeIectronica Centrum VZW (IMEC), as well as Multitel ASBL, NKT Photonics and Thales. Together they form the complete process chain, from development to industrial exploitation. Experiments using the laser system for the production of organic solar cells will be carried with the help of the the Heliatek GmbH in Dresden. Interest in the compact IR high-powered laser has also been shown by the plastic processing industry, where the excimer laser is usually used.

Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
Michael Botts
Hollerithallee 8
D-30419 Hannover
Tel.: +49 511 2788-151
Fax: +49 511 2788-100
The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) carries out research and development in the field of laser technology and is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport of the State of Lower Saxony (Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Verkehr).

Michael Botts | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
Further information:

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease
23.03.2018 | Rice University

nachricht Sensitive grip
23.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>