Monday, 13 August 2012

see through solar - Polymer solar cells

Lets face it, solar panels is that they are 'an eyesore'. ugly ugly ugly

that may be about to change, after researchers developed a new transparent solar cell which means windows in homes and other buildings can have the ability to generate electricity while still allowing people to see outside.

The University of California, Los Angeles team describes a new kind of polymer solar cell (PSC) that produces energy by absorbing mainly infrared light, making the cells nearly 70 per cent transparent

They made the device from a photo-active plastic that converts infrared light into an electrical current.

cool idea - smart windows and building-integrated photovoltaics and in other apps

PSCs are made from plastic-like materials and are lightweight and flexible and can be produced in high volume at low cost

A team of UCLA researchers from the California NanoSystems Institute, the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and UCLA's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have demonstrated high-performance, solution-processed, visibly transparent polymer solar cells through the incorporation of near-infrared light-sensitive polymer and using silver nanowire composite films as the top transparent electrode.

The near-infrared photoactive polymer absorbs more near-infrared light but is less sensitive to visible light, balancing solar cell performance and transparency in the visible wavelength region.

Another breakthrough is the transparent conductor made of a mixture of silver nanowire and titanium dioxide nanoparticles, which was able to replace the opaque metal electrode used in the past. This composite electrode also allows the solar cells to be fabricated economically by solution processing.
With this combination, 4 per cent power-conversion efficiency for solution-processed and visibly transparent polymer solar cells has been achieved.

We are excited!!!

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