Engineers at Stanford University of technology have come out with solar cells that can be stuck to any surface. Like all other things, technology has been the hotspot for developing eco-friendly products. Solar panels are foremost among energy solutions that are eco friendly.
Until now solar panels remind us of bulky, large and rigid cells. They are cumbersome and need professionals to install them and thus have limited portability and usage. They cannot be used like normal batteries and cells.
Published in the December issue of the journal Scientific Reports, this technology has been invented by Stanford based scientists Chi Hwan Lee and Xiaolin Zheng. These peel and stick solar stickers are dynamic, portable, cost effective and light weight.
The Technology and Its Production
The team conducted extensive research and crafted these wafer thin cells using a silicon dioxide sandwich. The sandwich consists of a 300 nanometer film made of nickel which is placed on a wafer of silicon dioxide. A thin film laced with solar cells is added to the nickel layer. This sandwich is then coated with a layer of protective polymer film. To this film a thermal release tape is stuck so that the cells can be easily transferred. The cell thus formed is removed using water and then peeling off the thermal tape. This allows water to interact with nickel and silicon dioxide. The tape is then heated to 90°C for a short time. It is now ready for use on any surface.
Numerous Advantages of the Sticker Solar Cells
The new solar cells are not just eco-friendly, they also have other advantages which will make them a big hit in the alternative energy market. Here are the major advantages of this new technology:
- This process uses state of art technology and does not compromise on the efficiency of the cells.
- Also, the materials and methods used are just improvisations to the already existing ones and hence easily adaptable for immediate consumption by the industry.
- Thus it is a commercially viable product too.
- Wastages of the precious resources such as silicon are reduced to bare minimum and can also be recycled after expiry. The silicon wafers of used cells can be reused as they are free of deposits and damage.
- Thin film electronics and solar technology are the latest fads in eco-friendly and energy efficient technology, as they can be incorporated into printed circuitry and even LCD displays very easily.
Photo Credit: (inhabitat.com)