MIT researchers have shown how solar panels can be printed on paper and other cheap materials, opening a range of possibilities including homes with solar-panel window shades or wallpaper.
Last year, CNET's Martin LaMonica reported on how MIT had developed the world's first solar panel printed on paper. A recent MIT study in the journal Advanced Materials by Karen Gleason and colleagues details the innovation.
The paper photovoltaic arrays are created through an oxidative chemical vapor deposition process at temperatures less than 120 degrees Celsius.
Ordinary uncoated paper, cloth, or plastic can be used. The researchers printed solar cells on a layer of PET plastic, folded it 1,000 times, and found it would still work.
Multiple layers and a paper mask are used to print the cells in a vacuum chamber. MIT says the procedure is nearly as cheap and easy as inkjet printing. … Read more