Petrobras Research Center and CSEM BRASIL signed R&D cooperation agreement to develop perovskite-based ink formulations for printed solar films, considered to be the next frontier in clean energy

Belo Horizonte, 20th of January, 2019 –  Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company, has a history of investing in cleaner energy alternatives and has now stepped up its efforts in partnering with R&D leader CSEM Brasil for printed, solution-based, solar generation.  The R&D project will invest 6.5 million USD during 30 months resulting in completely printed, carbon-efficient, solar films coated with very promising perovskite-based photoactive materials.  The parties will leverage their printing capabilities and expertise on materials development and   processing aiming to deliver complete solutions and commercially-ready films.  CSEM Brasil results from a partnership between FIR Capital, pioneers within the PE/VC industry in Brazil and CSEM (Centre Suisse d’electronique et de Microtechnique) of Switzerland.  SUNEW is the most successful spin-off from CSEM Brasil, resulting from over 10 years of R&D dedicated to next generation printed electronics and materials.   

“As an energy company, we couldn´t look away from one of the biggest trends in the sector.  When we consider the possibilities of low cost, 100% printed processes, coupled with the high efficiencies promised by perovskites, we can easily envision very high impact solutions for the energy world.  Particularly, when we are talking about harvesting the cleanest source of energy, printed perovskite based solar films are the perfect storm for disruption and we want to be part of it with the best in the industry. CSEM Brasil not only developed state of art infrastructure and materials know-how, but also span out SUNEW who is the leader today in commercial scale installations using printed organic solar films”, said, Oscar Chamberlain, Downstream R&D General Manager at Petrobras Research Center (CENPES).

“At CSEM Brasil, we are at our best when dealing with economically-grounded technological developments with potential for global impact.  When we started our journey into printed electronics, our biggest bet was based on the rational of very efficient production processes and earth-abundant solution-based materials to tackle challenges such as cheap, available everywhere, clean energy.  Working with Petrobras to take next steps in this direction is major news for the whole community”, reinforces Tiago Alves, Director at CSEM Brasil.

Solar perovskites is a promising material figuring amongst the most cited research papers worldwide.  It is a potentially simple material to synthesize, however, with very complex chemical mechanisms that needs addressing within a chemically stable and coatable ink formulation, able to nicely interlink with other needed materials in a scalable format.  The partner companies announce the start of the R&D project and invite members of the community to reach out for future collaborations.  The partner companies vision is one that brings the best available together with the quickest possible routes to market.