A team of researchers working at the University Institute for Advanced Materials Researches recently participated in a competition called European Project Sunflower to make less toxic organic photovoltaic substances that are suitable for industrial production. This project included 17 business and research institutes who carried out nanotechnology research in last four years. Researchers working at Sunflower did several studies out of which one of the most successful one was creation of a very versatile organic photovoltaic cells that can easily be printed. The University of Institute for Advanced Materials Research (INAM), Juan Bisquert, says, “Thanks to this work, progress has been made in the achievement of solar cells with a good performance, low cost and very interesting architectural characteristics.”
Sunflower had very ambitious goals. A researcher from the INAM’s Department of Physics, Antonio Geurrero, says that, “Since it was intended not only to improve the stability and efficiency of the photovoltaic materials, but also to reduce their costs of production.” In fact, according to Guerrero, “the processes for making the leap from the laboratory to industrial scale have been improved, due to the use of non-halogenated solvents compatible with industrial production methods and that considerably reduce the toxic loading of halogenates.
Bisquert, who teaches applied physics, says, “The involvement of our institute in these projects has a great interest because one of our priority lines of research is the new materials to develop renewable energies”. The transfer of knowledge to society is favored and, in this case, we demonstrate that organic materials investigated for 20 years are already close to become viable technologies.” The research team mainly focused on improvement off materials chemical reactivity as well as their structural compatibility. Germa Garcia, who teaches applied physics and is also a member of INAM, says, “We have worked to move from the concepts of inorganic electronics to photovoltaic cells and organic electronics.” The researchers aimed to take benefit of plastic materials conduction and absorption faculties which could help in verification of solar production capacity.
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