- 27 January 2012
The Earth receives the energy in one hour for all human needs in a year. Harvesting solar energy will reduce harmful CO2 emissions and resolve the forthcoming energy deficit that other sources alone cannot make up. The market for stable, cheap, roll-to-roll mass-produced organic solar cells (OSCs) is estimated at 1 billion Euros by 2016. The ITN ESTABLIS will train a team of 11 PhD Fellows and 4 Postdoctoral Fellows to harness this pivotal point in Europe's development based on a reliable, economically powerful and clean resource.
ESTABLIS will be an interdisciplinary training and research network. Fellows from ESTABLIS will excel. They will possess a broad skill-set across a range of disciplines that are of absolute necessity to develop the industrial and academic infrastructure in OSCs. Researchers will receive training in the primary areas of synthetic organic chemistry through complementary aspects of polymer science to complete industrial scale photovoltaic device manufacture. To improve the roll-to-roll engineering and stability of optoelectronically active thin-films will require new polymers, surface treatments, rheological appraisals of polymer processing, and aging studies. A parallel approach will develop the necessary improvements in electronic and opto-electronic properties by clarifying correlations between charge transfer, photochemistry and stability. This project will be run by meticulously interacting groups to increase the stability of strong, flexible, low-cost OSCs to ten years and to open up the pathway to large-scale applications with fifteen year lifetimes so that they can be sold on a mass-market basis.
ESTABLIS is an exceptionally complementary consortium of field-leading University groups and the world's chief Industrial industries, namely, the world's foremost producers of OSCs, Konarka, of conducting polymers, Heraeus, and of semiconducting polymers, Merck. These key European companies are at the heart to ensure that training and technological developments will be industrially operable.