R2R-printed inverted OPV modules – towards arbitrary patterned designs
We describe the fabrication of roll-to-roll (R2R) printed organic photovoltaic (OPV) modules using gravure printing and rotary screen-printing processes. These two-dimensional printing techniques are differentiating factors from coated OPVs enabling the direct patterning of arbitrarily shaped and sized features into visual shapes and, increasing the freedom to connect the cells in modules. The inverted OPV structures comprise five layers that are either printed or patterned in an R2R printing process. We examined the rheological properties of the inks used and their relationship with the printability, the compatibility between the processed inks, and the morphology of the R2R-printed layers. We also evaluate the dimensional accuracy of the printed pattern, which is an important consideration in designing arbitrarily-shaped OPV structures. The photoactive layer and top electrode exhibited excellent cross-dimensional accuracy corresponding to the designed width. The transparent electron transport layer extended 300 µm beyond the designed values, whereas the hole transport layer shrank 100 µm. We also examined the repeatability of the R2R fabrication process when the active area of the module varied from 32.2 cm2 to 96.5 cm2. A thorough layer-by-layer optimization of the R2R printing processes resulted in realization of R2R-printed 96.5 cm2 sized modules with a maximum power conversion efficiency of 2.1% (mean 1.8%) processed with high functionality.