Molecular Solar, a spinout company from the University of Warwick, has been able to achieve and demonstrate a record voltage for organic photovoltaic cells (OPV). The company has developed OPV technology capable of producing cells with open-circuit voltages in excess of four volts for the first time ever.

The remarkable achievement paves the way for the highly flexible, low cost solar cells to be further developed for a range of commercial applications – including being used to help charge lithium ion batteries, a stalwart of all modern, portable consumer electronics.   

University of Warwick researcher Professor Tim Jones, who is Chief Technology Officer of Molecular Solar, commented: “The first generation of organic photovoltaics will be exceptionally well matched to consumer electronics applications. The advantage of Molecular Solar’s high voltage cells is that a single cell can be used with no requirement to connect multiple cells in series for these applications, saving manufacturing cost. ’’

Dr Ross Hatton, Research Director of the company added: “We are now very close to having highly flexible organic photovoltaic cells that will be capable of delivering electrical energy at a voltage suitable for recharging lithium ion batteries that are widely used in portable consumer electronics. Remarkably, this high voltage is achieved using a cell with only 4 junctions (sub-cells).”

The solar company is putting the finishing touches to a £5 million investment round to complete the up-scaling of their OPV and MS-Flexifilm electrode technology.