Solar energy delivered by organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices has the potential to be a widely adopted source of sustainable electricity for a range of applications. Printing and coating technologies are being investigated as a means of quickly and cost effectively mass-producing OPV devices. This paper uses an analysis framework to review and assess the suitability of printing and coating technologies for delivering marketable OPV products. The analysis framework was developed by linking the OPV materials and fabrication method to the consumer requirements. The consumer requirements were delivered by the performance characteristics resulting from the device properties. These device properties were produced by the materials and fabrication method, including the printing/coating method. Specific criteria were developed for each of the stages and the interconnections were mapped to allow pathways between the fabrication technique and consumer requirements to be followed. The benefits and limitations of printing and coating processes were reviewed using the analysis framework for inkjet printing, roller printing, screen printing, pad printing, spin coating and spray coating, amongst others. Suitable processes were those that could meet the performance characteristics by the ability to produce nanoscale films, create set patterning and produce a variety of device sizes. The compatibility of the polymer physical properties with the printing/coating method was also important to achieve consistent products. The most suitable process for a particular application was dependent on the target device size and intended use. Identification of effective printing/coating techniques is necessary for rapid scale-up and commercially viable mass-manufacture of OPV products.
Chemeca 2010: Engineering at the Edge. Proceedings of Chemeca 2010: Engineering at the Edge (Adelaide, S.A. 26-29 September, 2010)