The organic solar film producer Heliatek based in Dresden, Germany have announced an improved type of solar cell which gives a transparency of 40 % while achieving 7 % energy conversion efficiency. Although its efficiency is not as good as the company’s opaque organic cells (roughly 12 %) this new solar film can be discreetly integrated into building and vehicular glazing to provide an energy harvesting tinted transparent film. The film is also effective at low light levels and high temperatures where conventional cells lose out.
HeliaFilm uses small molecules (oligomers), developed and synthesized at Heliatek. Oligomers are deposited at low temperatures in a roll-to-roll vacuum process and by changing the spectral absorption properties of the molecules the film can provide different levels of transparency and a colored tint. According to Thibaud Le Séguillon, Heliatek CEO "The transparency of our products is at the core of our market approach. Our HeliaFilm™ is customized to meet our partners' specific needs, we are a component supplier and this component is a film which can combine transparency and energy generation. This unique combination widens our market potential."
Heliatek was grounded in 2006 as a spin-off from the Technical University of Dresden and the University of Ulm.