November 17, 2008

Rubber loosens up silicon

Embed silicon wires in rubber and you've got a key solar cell component that's flexible and highly efficient.

The vertical silicon rods are made at temperatures that are too high for flexible materials, but after they're made, arrays of the rods can be embedded in rubber. The result is a flexible material that has the potential to make solar cells that are more efficient than other flexible solar cells.

Research paper:
Flexible Polymer-Embedded Si Wire Arrays
Advanced Materials, published online November 14, 2008

Researchers' homepages:
The Lewis Group, California Institute of Technology
Atwater Research Group, California Institute of Technology
Bruce S. Brunschwig

Related stories and briefs:
Process prints flexible silicon solar cells -- related research

Back to ERN November 17/24, 2008



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