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Nanotechnology Report

Encapsulation and Flexible Substrates for Organic and Dye-Sensitized Photovoltaics

Category: Materials Published: Dec 2010 View Contents
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Electronic copies include a five user licence. Contact andrew.stewart@nano.org.uk for more information.

Organic Photovoltaics (OPV) is among the most air- and moisture-sensitive applications in PV. For dye-sensitized cell (DSC) photovoltaics, another factor comes into play: the use of liquid electrolytes that can leak, rendering cells ineffective. These technical issues are key culprits that have kept these interesting PV technologies from gaining market share. But as the OPV and DSC communities struggle to commercialize their technologies they are increasingly realizing that to make money, they are going to have to spend money on encapsulation.

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As a result, we believe that there are growing opportunities for providers of encapsulation materials and systems to sell into the OPV/DSC segment. These opportunities are enhanced by the fact that encapsulation is an especially important, but tricky issue on flexible substrates and flexibility is a key part of the OPV/DSC value proposition.

But the OPV/DSC encapsulation business extends well beyond the flexible substrate niche. There are expanding opportunities for rigid i.e., glass substrates too. OPV cells, in particular, still have lifetimes of only 1020 years even when encapsulated in glass; that is, even glass is not a robust enough encapsulant for OPV. This means even more opportunities for the encapsulant business.

This report provides our analysis of the market for encapsulation and substrate materials for OPV and DSC, including a detailed eight-year forecast of the revenue opportunities that these materials present in these markets. We believe that this report will be essential reading for chemical, glass, polymer, and thin-film ceramic manufacturers as well as OPV and DSC manufacturers and those seeking to enable the unique devices and applications that those PV technologies can provide.

We believe there are growing opportunities for providers of encapsulation materials and systems.