MIT research team develops »paper-thin solar cells«

A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a process to bond ultra-thin solar cells to a robust fiber composite using a UV-resistant adhesive. The composite, known as »Dyneema,« allows an »ultralight and mechanically robust solar structure« just 50 micrometers thick that can be applied to virtually any material for numerous applications.
The concept is based on an organic thin-film solar cell presented six years ago by MIT's Organic and Nanostructured Electronics Laboratory (ONE Lab), which has since been further developed. The team led by Mayuran Saravanapavanantham and Jeremiah Mwaura is confident that they will be able to develop industrially useful manufacturing processes based on screen-printing techniques. Per kilogram of weight, the solar structure offers 370 watts of power. However, at a weight of 105 grams per square meter, this corresponds to an area of 9.5 square meters or around 25 square meters per kilowatt of power; the power-related area requirement is therefore around five times greater than for conventional solar modules.

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