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STEEP-UP – Next Generation Materials for Organic Photovoltaics

5th of July 2023

In June, the EU-wide research project STEEP-UP, coordinated by the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), has started its work on the development of novel absorber materials for vacuum-processable, organic solar cells. This technology has been developed by Heliatek GmbH (Dresden, Germany) over the past decade and has been commercialized as Heliatek’s organic solar film product HeliaSol®. With a carbon footprint of less than 10 g CO2e/kWh, the HeliaSol® films are the greenest of all solar technologies, having a Carbon Payback Time of less than 100 days. STEEP UP unites four European leading research institutes with Heliatek to accelerate the development of next generations of organic solar materials, with higher efficiency without compromising on durability. Starting with quantum chemical simulations of material properties at the University of Mons (Belgium), research centers in France (CNRS MOLTECH-Anjou) and in Poland (Polish Academy of Sciences), experts in the field of organic synthetic chemistry, will develop new organic compounds for enhanced organic solar cell performance. The materials properties are analyzed by IPF Dresden, and are tested in specially adapted solar cell structures at Heliatek GmbH, Dresden. Overall goal of the project is a fast transfer of new academic knowledge to the environmentally friendly production of organic solar cell film modules by Heliatek.

The project STEEP UP is funded under the EU M-ERA.NET program, a Europe-wide network of national funding organization authorities.


Project Partners & Expertise:

Heliatek (Dresden, Germany): Development, production, and commercialization of organic solar films

Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (Dresden, Germany): Coordinator - Analysis of optical and molecular material properties, study of nanomorphology of organic thin film layers

University of Mons (Mons, Belgium): Quantum chemical simulation of molecular aggregates and material properties

CNRS MOLTECH-Anjou Research Center (Angers, France): Development of new dye systems with steep absorption edge for organic solar cells

Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Science (Warsaw, Poland): Synthesis of novel chromophores for application in organic solar cells


Statement Guido van Tartwijk, CEO Heliatek:

“At Heliatek, we have developed and commercialized a revolutionary solar technology with virtually infinite application opportunities and an industry leading carbon footprint. Our solar films are light-weight and bendable and an ideal fit for all those building surfaces where traditional solar is not possible or very costly to install. To accelerate the potential of our technology, we are now bundling global R&D expertise in the STEEP UP project to develop new materials that will boost the overall performance of our solar films further and faster.”