Roll and roll-to-roll process scaling through development of a compact flexo unit for printing of back electrodes

Henrik Friis Dam, Thomas Rieks Andersen, Morten Vesterager Madsen, Thomas K. Mortensen, Mads F. Pedersen, Uffe Nielsen, Frederik C Krebs

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


We report manufacture of fully printed and coated polymer solar cells on a small scale roll-to-roll coater representing the intermediate scale between laboratory and pilot scale. We highlight the enormous span in scale between the laboratory scale and the intended industrial scale by a factor of >100.000 and detail how this enormous scale must be covered by equipment that follow the scale. Especially the intermediate scale between equipment that can fit inside a fume cupboard and the typical pilot equipment with a footprint having the size of a large room presents a challenge that comprises some of the most critical steps in the scaling process. We describe the development of such a machine that comprise web guiding, tension control and surface treatment in a compact desk size that is easily moved around and also detail the development of a small cassette based flexographic unit for back electrode printing that is parsimonious in terms of ink usage and more gentle than laboratory scale flexo units where the foil transport is either driven by the flexo unit or the flexo unit is driven by the foil transport. We demonstrate fully operational flexible polymer solar cell manufacture using this new roll and roll-to-roll (R3) approach and compare with the existing methods.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Polymer solar cells
  • Roll-to-roll machinery
  • Scaling of equipment
  • Slot-die
  • Small flexographic unit
  • Web handling
  • Electrodes
  • Equipment
  • Machinery
  • Manufacture
  • Polymers
  • Printing
  • Social networking (online)
  • Surface treatment
  • Polymer Solar Cells
  • Roll to Roll
  • Slot dies
  • Solar cells


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