Wednesday 5 January 2011

Researchers invent Solar cell printing technique on delicate materials

MIT research scientists, Karen Gleason, Miles Barr and others, have invented a technique of  printing solar cells on a variety of very delicate papers and plastics.

"The new method, called oxidative chemical vapor deposition (oCVD), involves spraying a vapor of a monomer and an oxidizing agent onto a substrate. The monomer and oxidizing agent polymerize when they meet and form PEDOT plastic. The plastic itself is conductive, but the conductivity can be further increased up to 1,000 times by controlling the substrate temperature so that small nanopores form, which can be laced with highly conductive silver particles." physorg

The video here, demonstrates how the printed solar cells can tolerate a significant amount of bending and stretching with minimal effect to its properties. The researches fold a piece of printed solar cell paper into an airplane, and show the device generating current.

According to the researchers, the printing technique could also be used for other applications like printing electronics on fabric and other flexible displays.
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