November 3, 2008

Reflectivity boosts solar coating prospects

Grow a layer of the right material on a reflective surface and you have the makings of a coating that generates electricity from sunlight.

The solar cell consists of a non-polymer organic material grown on a reflective metal electrode and topped with a transparent indium tin oxide electrode. The solar cell's efficiency is less than one percent, but power-generating coatings could be practical at lower efficiencies than traditional module-based solar cells.

The solar cell could lead to electricity-generating skins for vehicles and buildings.

Research paper:
Inverted Small Molecule Organic Photovoltaic Cells on Reflective Substrates
Applied Physics Letters, October 29, 2008

Researchers' homepage:
Optoelectronic Components & Materials Group, University of Michigan

Back to ERN November 3/10, 2008



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