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    OPV application


    OPV application


    OPV application

Organic Photovoltaics

EMD Performance Materials is dedicated to advancing the technology of organic photovoltaics (OPVs) from a research topic to commercialization by developing semiconducting polymers, interlayers and, in collaboration with our partner Nano-C, electron acceptors such as fullerenes. The design of the materials itself, as well as the development of ready-to-print formulations, stems from our research center in Chilworth, UK. 
OPVs are lightweight devices with customizable coloring. They can be manufactured using simple and well established printing techniques, thereby enabling cost-efficient solar cells both on flexible and rigid substrates.

OPV Stack

OPV Technology

Organic solar cells convert light into electricity. The active layer, a bulk-heterojunction, consisting of an intimately mixed blend of a semiconducting polymer and a fullerene derivative is sandwiched between two electrodes. Light is absorbed by the polymer, creating tightly bound electron-hole pairs called excitons. At the interface between electron donor (polymer) and electron acceptor (fullerene) these excitons are separated, generating free charge carriers and producing current. In order to optimize the performance of the solar cell additional layers such as electron transport layers (ETL) or hole transport layers (HTL) can be inserted between the electrodes and the active layer. 
The color of the resulting solar device depends on the light-absorbing polymer and can be tuned from red to green, including neutral shades. Highest efficiencies of ~8% are currently achievable with a blue to green appearance. 
The combination of a high degree of design freedom, as well as the reduced weight of the resultant device, enables new application fields to become accessible for organic solar cells, such as integration into clothes, photovoltaic membranes for the building industry, and foldable mobile solar cells. Furthermore, target sectors such as automotive applications and building integrated photovoltaics can be addressed as the technology matures.
Product documentation


Choose from our print materials related to OPV
Printing the future - Materials for the next generation Organic Photovoltaics (currently unavailable)




The key aim of the Sunflower project is to achieve printed OPV devices with high efficiency architectures, such as tandem cells with dedicated light management structures. Alongside solutions for cost effective flexible substrates, diffusion barriers and conductors, high performance photoactive and passive (barrier) materials are developed. During the project the partners will gain deep understanding of the device physics, elucidate the degradation mechanisms and estimate the environmental impact of the main materials and processes. The project is coordinated by CSEM.

Main Partners besides EMD Performance Materials
  • Belectric OPV GmbH, CSEM, CNR, AGFA-Gevaert, Amcor Flexibles, Chalmers University, Fluxim
More details are available on the website:


The objective of EMD Performance Materials in this project was to develop a unique set of wide and low band-gap materials for the bottom and top cells of tandem structures respectively. EMD Performance Materials actively contributed to the development of mass-production methods for inexpensive, tandem OPV modules combining high performance stability. The project led to considerable technological breakthrough in the field, with the world’s first organic photovoltaic module made by a fully roll-to-roll process.

Main Partners besides EMD Performance Materials:
  • FAU, Heraeus, Delo, VTT, CEA, DTU
More details on the website:
ROTROT OPV - Lab people


The main objectives of POPUP are to develop significantly more efficient and stable OPV materials for cost-effective industrial printing and coating processes, as well as novel device architecture for flexible and rigid, semitransparent and opaque modules. Ten leading universities, research institutions, and companies in various areas are involved in the project “Development of New Materials and Device Structures for Competitive Mass Production Methods and Applications of Organic Photovoltaics” (POPUP). The project is coordinated by EMD Performance Materials.

Main partners besides EMD Performance Materials:
  • Leonhard Kurz Stiftung & Co. KG, PolyIC GmbH, Belectric OPV GmbH, Bischoff Glastechnik AG, Webasto Roof and Components SE, Siemens AG, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden Würtemberg (ZSW), Center for Applied Energy Systems (ZAE)
More details here: 
Establis - Ensuring stability in organic solar cells. A training and research project.


ESTABLIS is a complementary consortium of University groups and industry with the aim to create an interdisciplinary training and research network. From the industry side, well-known producers of organic solar cells (Belectric OPV GmbH), conducting polymers (Heraeus) and semiconducting polymers (EMD Performance Materials) are contributing. The groups interact to open up the pathway to cost-efficient, large-scale applications of OSCs with a target of fifteen year lifetime, enabling the industry to address a mass market.

Main partners besides EMD Performance Materials: 
  • Vilnius University, Université de Pau et des Pays l’Adour (UPPA), Tübingen University, Johannes Kepler Universiy Linz,  IMDEA Madrid, Aston University Birmingham, ILC Bratislawa, Heraeus Precious Metals GmbH&Co, Belectric OPV GmbH
More information here:

OPV Brands

With lisicon®, EMD Performance Materials offers ready-to-print formulations of advanced organic semiconductor materials for use in OPV applications. As these materials are solution processed, a wide range of printing processes are accessible for the production of cost-effective organic solar cells, these include: spin coating, ink-jet printing, slot die or meniscus coating, gravure, flexographic, offset and screen printing.

EMD Performance Materials offers, with lisicon®, complete material solutions for the organic electronics (OE) sector. The range encompasses printable high-performance semiconductors, dielectrics and surface treatment chemicals. These materials are also suitable for the production of backplanes as needed for flexible displays such as e-paper.

For more information please contact us.