Home & Building Windows That Generate Electricity

Home & Building Windows That Generate Electricity

By Shinji Tutoru

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, CALIFORNIA, USA. A new kind of polymer solar cell (PSC) that can produce energy by absorbing primarily infrared light (not visible light) that makes the cells almost 70% transparent to the human eye. This innovation will surely revolutionize home and building windows since they can now have useful benefits other than the usual protective and aesthetic purposes.

The worldwide need for polymer solar cells have motivated Yang Yang and his team to develop PSCs that are totally made from plastic-like materials making them flexible and lightweight. This also allowed the PSCs to be mass produced in high volume at an affordable cost. They device was made from a photoactive plastic that converted infrared light into an electrical current.

The developed PSCs have impressively demonstrated solution-processed, high-performance and visibly transparent polymer solar cells. They have incorporated near-infrared light-sensitive polymer and used silver nanowire composite films as the top transparent electrode. These polymers absorb more near-infrared light but is less sensitive to visible light. Thus, they balance the transparency in the visible wavelength region and the solar cell performance.

The transparent conductor used is another breakthrough since it replaced the typical opaque metal electrode used in the past. It is made of a mixture of titanium dioxide nanoparticles and silver nanowire. Through solution processing, the solar cells can be fabricated economically, a process made possible by the composite electrode. This kind of combination yielded a 4% power-conversion efficiency for visibly transparent PSCs and solution-processed.

Invention Transparent Polymer Solar Cell
Organization University of California, California, USA
Researcher Professor Yang Yang & Team
Field(s) Green Energy, Nano Technology, Transparent Polymer Solar Cells, Solar Cell Technology, Electricity, Solution Process, Solar Energy
Further Information Phys Org

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