Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New Technique Creates First Plastic Solar Cell

The growth of the solar industry has been limited by the supply of the polysilicon material used to make solar panels. In 2006, more than half of the world’s supply of polysilicon was used for production of renewable electricity. In 2008, only twelve factories produced solar-grade polysilicon. In 2011, the industry produced an excess of polysilicon. And now, another shift — the creation of a plastic solar cell.
Georgia Tech's Bernard Kippelen and his team developed
the first completely plastic solar cell.

Researchers at Georgia Tech‘s Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics, (COPE) have discovered a new technique to reduce the work function of a conductor and by doing so, created the worlds’ first plastic solar cell. And, the creation of that plastic solar cell could change the requirements for the manufacturing of organic printed electronics.

Printed electronics allows manufacturers to print or roll materials onto surfaces to produce an electronically functional device. This printing process is already used in organic solar cells and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) that form the displays of mobile phones.

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