Technology

World’s thinnest solar cell

It is so easy can be even on a bubble without having bursts. Engineers from Boston create probably the thinnest and lightest solar cells in the world. Despite the tiny size and his thickness, the mini tile generates at least equally effective power such as thicker modules.It is still a prototype, but seems to have great potential. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed the thinnest so far solar cell of the world in Boston. Special feature: In relation to its extremely low weight it produces six Watts of power per gram. This is 400 times better balance than traditional glass solar cell.

To illustrate the truly miserly weight of the small plate is worth a projection: the cell would be great, a whole square meters has 3.6 grams.

Solar cell is 50 times as thin as a hair

There are already methods to print solar modules on surfaces. The cells used are still considerably thicker than the prototype from US researchers with a thickness of only 1.3 micrometers.

To make a such thin solar cell at all, requires an unusual production process. In conventional production, the components of a solar module (Basic, semiconductor and surface) are applied individually and sequentially. The scientists to the MIT Professor Vladimir Bulović conducted now but at the same time all three steps.

The Mini-cell could generate electricity on clothing

The innovation it whether to recognize that the plate at the same time arise can be the actual engine, Bulović says. The researchers managed by them in order, but eventually steamed up the layers in a vacuum chamber without interruption on a glass plate. The resulting extremely thin solar film was finally replaced with much care from the plate.

For demonstration purposes, researchers put the mini cell on a soap bubble, without having them burst. Due to the high flexibility of the cell, and due to the low weight and thickness you could generate electricity in future on T-Shirts or hats. That would be also on the outer skin of a helium balloon or even on a piece of paper. Researchers Bulović: “the cells are so easy you would not even notice it on clothes. You could be applied just on existing surfaces.”