After a term of three years, the jointly funded project IMAGE (innovation printable electrode materials for high-performance lighting devices and organic solar cells) has been successfully completed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR). As a result, the project partners Carnot MIB from Bordeaux, France (project headed by Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères Organiques [LCPO]) and the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Organics, Materials and Electronic Devices (COMEDD) from Dresden, Germany demonstrated new transparent electrodes, which are arranged on a backing film and enable flexible electronic components.
The performance of these electrodes, which are made up of organic materials, was demonstrated by using flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic photovoltaic (OPV) solar cells. The objective of the project IMAGE was the development of innovative printable, transparent electrode materials for high-efficiency OLEDs and solar cells. The electrode materials should be cost-effective, conductive, transparent, flexible, compatible and capable of being integrated onto OLED or OPV solar cells. The electrodes developed in IMAGE should replace conventional transparent metal oxides, such as indium-tin-oxide (ITO), which are less flexible and less cost-effective.
According to Dr. Olaf R. Hild, business unit manager at Fraunhofer COMEDD, the significant results are the ability to construct thin, transparent, flexible electrodes and to integrate them into COMEDD processes, enabling the group to manufacture flexible organic devices according to customer requirements.
The IMAGE consortium is now looking for industry partners for commercialisation. Film manufacturers and film refiners in particular can take this opportunity to cooperate with material developers in order to make flexible transparent and conductive film products for numerous applications (e.g., in the field of PV, organic electronics or for touch screens) ready for the market.