Thursday, September 27, 2012

No. 622: Paper solar cell (September 27, 2012)

A research team led by Masaya Nogi of Osaka University developed paper that can generate electricity when irradiated. The research members combined wood pulp with a generating material made of ultrafine silver wiring and an organic substance. They thinned the fiber of wood pulp to 15 nanometers that is one third of the thickness of the existing wiring, and made a transparent paper sheet. Using the printing technology, they applied the organic substance that converts light into electricity and silver wiring that recovers electricity to the sheet. 

The trial paper solar cell is 2 cm deep, 5 mm wide, and 1 mm thick, and capable of lighting a bulb. The conversion efficiency from light to electricity is 3%, much lower than the existing solar cell used for photovoltaic generation. Because the printing technology is used to make this paper cell, applying a temperature higher than 300 degrees centigrade is necessary in the production process. However, the paper solar cell does not need large equipment for production, nor does it need so much energy as the existing cell for production. The new solar cell is foldable and superior to plastic in workability. The research team plans to put the paper solar cell into practical use in three years. They have already developed a technology to print an antenna on the sheet.  

A paper solar cell developed by a research 
team led by Masaya Nogi of Osaka University

No comments:

Post a Comment