We describe and review how the scaling of printed energy technologies not only requires scaling of the input materials but also the machinery used in the processes. The general consensus that ultrafast processing of technologies with large energy capacity can only be realized using roll-to-roll methods is taken as a premise, and thus the progression from a highly successful laboratory technique (i.e., spin coating) to large-scale roll-to-roll equipment is described in terms of all of the intermediate steps that must be available to make the transfer possible. Spin coating is compatible with materials availability on the small scale and efficient scaling of equipment is a demanding task that must be performed in parallel with increasing materials availability. We outline that 3–5 processing platforms are necessary to efficiently take the laboratory technology to a version that represents the lower end of the industrial scale. The machinery bridges the gap through firstly achieving improved ink efficiency without surface contact, followed by better ink efficiency at higher speeds, and finally large-area processing at high speed with very high ink efficiency.
Journal review article
Energy Technology, 2015, Vol 3, Issue 4
Organic photovoltaics; Perovskites; Polymers; Roll-to-roll processing; Solar cells