Dyesol Limited and Merck KGaA have signed an agreement to collaborate in the development of electrolytes for use in dye solar cells (DSC). This joint development agreement is the precursor to potential future commercial arrangements with Merck to manufacture existing and next generation electrolytes for application in DSC.
Merck is one of the world leaders in the development and production of ionic liquids which are key raw materials used in DSC electrolytes. Merck has patented intellectual property and vast know-how in the field of ionic liquids and is a leading supplier of materials for allied applications such as liquid crystal displays. Dyesol is the leading developer of DSC materials and solutions, having a broad portfolio covering DSC materials, product designs and manufacturing equipments.
The first phase of the collaboration involves the development of new electrolytes, optimisation of electrolytes for high performance, refinement of material specifications to assure ultra long life, and scale up for volume manufacture. Dyesol will contribute the results of the past 12 years of testing on over 400 different proprietary electrolytes that has resulted in DSC with proven stability of well over 25 years in European conditions.
Merck and Dyesol are, in parallel, discussing the terms for exploitation to ensure that Dyesol’s major corporate partners have secure lines of material supply and redundancy to underpin their investments in major DSC product manufacturing facilities, and that third parties worldwide have access to the best possible DSC electrolytes. As a result of this collaboration, both Dyesol and Merck will have the capacity and capability to manufacture DSC materials.
Dr Gavin Tulloch, Global Managing Director of Dyesol, said, “This collaboration arises from two years of planning and discussions. During this period, both Dyesol and Merck have recognised the great technical and commercial potential that collaboration can bring. Combining Merck’s capabilities as a major world force in chemical production and supply and the technology leader in ionic liquids, together with Dyesol, the leading DSC technology and industrialisation group, adds exceptional potential to the commercialisation of the unique photovoltaic technology.”
"Photovoltaic renewable energy sources are showing increasing potential worldwide. The cooperation with Dyesol, the world leader in the dye solar cell sector, offers us the opportunity to leverage valuable potential in this attractive market. In addition, Merck already holds an excellent position due to its experience in the electrolyte market," says Dr Emil Aust, Senior Manager of Ionic Liquids at Merck KGaA. "When used as the main components of DSC electrolytes, Merck's task-specific ionic liquids, partly patented, make it possible to use both solid and flexible DSCs, thus enabling outstanding new applications in the future."
For further information contact Viv Hardy at Callidus PR on +61 (0)2 9283 4111 or on +61 (0)411 208 951.
In Europe contact Eva Reuter, Investor Relations, Dyesol Europe on +49 177 6058804
Note to editors
The Technology – DYE SOLAR CELLS
DSC technology can best be described as ‘artificial photosynthesis’ using an electrolyte, a layer of titania (a pigment used in white paints and tooth paste) and ruthenium dye deposited on glass, metal or polymer substrates. Light striking the dye excites electrons which are absorbed by the titania to become an electric current many times stronger than that found in natural photosynthesis in plants. Compared to conventional silicon based photovoltaic technology, Dyesol’s technology has lower cost and embodied energy in manufacture, it produces electricity more efficiently even in low light conditions and can be directly incorporated into buildings by replacing conventional glass panels or metal sheets rather than taking up roof or extra land area.
The Company – DYESOL Limited
Dyesol is located in Queanbeyan NSW (near Canberra) and in August 2005 was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX Code "DYE"). Dyesol manufactures and supplies a range of dye solar cell products comprising equipment, chemicals, materials, components and related services to researchers and manufacturers of DSC. Dyesol has subsidiaries in UK, Italy, Switzerland, USA, Korea and Singapore plus representatives and agents in Turkey, Germany, Abu Dhabi, Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan. The Company is playing a key role in taking this 3rd generation solar technology from development into commercial production.
The Partner – MERCK KGaA
Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of € 7.6 billion in 2008, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by approximately 33,000 employees in 60 countries. Its success is characterised by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and free shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the US subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.