The German company Heliatek has developed new OPV multi-junction solar cells with an efficiency of 13.2%. This is a world record for organic solar cells. Thanks to the outstanding characteristics of the new solar cells at low incident light levels and high temperatures, the efficiency under real-world conditions is comparable to that of conventional solar cells at 16 to 17%.
The high efficiency of the new organic solar cells results from the multilayer structure, consisting of three layers that respectively absorb light in the green, red or near-infrared portion of the spectrum between 450 and 950 nm and convert it into electricity. The molecules in the absorbing layers were developed and patented by Heliatek.
The efficiency of the new organic solar cells was measured by the Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics CSP in Halle (Germany) with simulated AM 1.5 lighting. Heliatek expects to be able to further increase the efficiency of their organic solar cells to 15%.