Scalable, ambient atmosphere roll-to-roll manufacture of encapsulated large area, flexible organic tandem solar cell modules
Inline printing and coating methods have been demonstrated to enable a high technical yield of fully roll-to-roll processed polymer tandem solar cell modules. We demonstrate generality by employing different material sets and also describe how the ink systems must be carefully co-developed in order to reach the ambitious objective of a fully printed and coated 14-layer flexible tandem solar cell stack. The roll-to-roll methodologies involved are flexographic printing, rotary screen printing, slot-die coating, X-ray scattering, electrical testing and UV-lamination. Their combination enables the manufacture of completely functional devices in exceptionally high yields. Critical to the ink and process development is a carefully chosen technology transfer to industry method where first a roll coater is employed enabling contactless stack build up, followed by a small roll-to-roll coater fitted to an X-ray machine enabling in situ studies of wet ink deposition and drying mechanisms, ultimately elucidating how a robust inline processed recombination layer is key to a high technical yield. Finally, the transfer to full roll-to-roll processing is demonstrated.