Are plastic solar cells going to be important?


February 26th, 2009

Researchers at Canada’s National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) and the University of Alberta have developed an approach that could lead to improved performance of plastic solar cells (hybrid organic solar cells). Conventional solar cells require materials that are expensive or in short supply, such as silicon, thus there is a great interest in the development of plastic solar panels that could be mass-produced and inexpensive.

However, the researchers estimate that it will be 5-7 years before plastic solar cells are mass produced.   When that happens the material will be produced quickly and cheaply by ink jet like printers.   So it appears that it will be a long wait for such technology to have an impact in developing countries.   In the meantime there are other potential improvements to solar cells that will probably reach the market much earlier.

Source: Nanotechnology Researchers Increase Efficiency of Plastic Solar Cells

Full paper: Thienylsilance-Modified Indium Tin Oxide as an Anodic Interface in Polymer/Fullerene Solar Cells, (Feb 25, 2009 edition, ACS Applied Materials + Interfaces).

One response to “Are plastic solar cells going to be important?”

  1. Amy Illingworth Says:

    Actually, it may happen sooner….

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/solar/plastic-solar-cells-roll-into-unlit-villages?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IeeeSpectrum+(IEEE+Spectrum)&utm_content=Google+Reader

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