The goal of the initiative in organic photovoltaics, called "flexPV" is to help the nation shift its energy focus from fossil fuel to solar energy by advancing the science of organized organic semiconducting materials, innovations and commercialization of flexible photovoltaic, lighting, and electronics technologies, and preparing the workforce for the alternative and conventional energy sector of tomorrow; to be a catalyst for nationwide scientific collaborations, commercial and institutional partnerships, and generate public awareness of energy conservation and efficient utilization.
Kent State has long held a global research leadership in flexible materials such as those used in liquid crystal display technology. The scientific know-how, technological skill sets, and infrastructure that Kent State possesses can be directly and very naturally extended to the field of organic photovoltaics (OPV). Our researchers are in a unique position to address the difficult challenges that the field of OPV present. With the synergy between Kent State researchers and local industry, there is tremendous potential for collaborative research and development of flexible photovoltaics materials and devices. To enable a positive impact on regional commercialization and job creation, Kent State has made a commitment to and authorized hiring of new faculty, construction of new laboratories, and development of new curricula for our undergraduate and graduate programs.
Even in their current stage of infancy, OPV offer significant production costs advantage over the traditional inorganic PV. In spite of their low efficiency, OPV are beginning to be competitive with the inorganic technology in terms of cost per kWh of electricity. However, recent studies suggest that Gen3 organic photovoltaics using higher performing organic-inorganic hybrids will achieve higher efficiency levels and provide greater durability at significantly lower costs.
Among the key promises of organic photovoltaics are:
- The potential of unique and interesting scientific discoveries, leading to new materials and pathways, and ultimately much higher efficiency for harnessing solar energy,
- Flexible, conformal, light weight, and self-healing products,
- Inexpensive new technology for off-grid applications and consumer products,
- Skilled workforce training in the energy technologies and management,
- Regional economic development and the creation of new jobs.
Kent State’s OPV research efforts are also being combined with our expertise in flexible electronics to create new flexible power products for a variety of applications.
To inquire about partnership opportunities, please contact:
Vice President for Research
Symposium on "Advances in Organic Photovoltaics" - Featuring a Keynote Presentation by Dr. Alan Heeger (2000 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry)
- Symposium was held April 17, 2012 at Kent State University, Kent Campus, Kiva Auditorium
- Symposium home page