Semi-transparent and flexible solar cells made from atomically thin sheet

September 26, 2017, Tohoku University
Semitransparent and flexible solar cell with 2-D sheet. Credit: Toshiaki Kato

Researchers at Tohoku University have developed an innovative method for fabricating semitransparent and flexible solar cells with atomically thin 2-D materials. The new technology improves power conversion efficiency of up to 0.7 percent, the highest value for solar cells made from transparent 2-D sheet materials.

Transparent or semi-transparent solar cells with excellent mechanical flexibility have attracted much attention as next-generation smart solar cells. They can be used on the surfaces of windows, front display panels of personal computers and cellphones, and human skin. But issues remain with regard to improving their , optical transparency, flexibility, stability and scalability.

Led by Associate Professor T. Kato, the team showed easy and scalable fabrication of semi-transparent and flexible using (TMDs), an atomically thin 2-D material. Using a Schottky-type configuration, power conversion efficiency can be increased up to 0.7 percent, which is the highest value reported with few-layered TMDs. Clear power generation was also observed for a device fabricated on a large transparent and flexible substrate.

"Since our device structure, the Schottky-type solar cell, is very simple, the TMD-based Schottky-type solar cell possesses good properties for scalability, which is one of the most important elements for use in practical applications," says Kato.

"The transparent and semi-transparent solar cell can be used in a variety of ways. This new type of solar cell is likely to have impact on the technologies we use in daily life in the near future."

Explore further: Semi-transparent perovskite solar cells for solar windows

More information: Toshiki Akama et al, Schottky solar cell using few-layered transition metal dichalcogenides toward large-scale fabrication of semitransparent and flexible power generator, Scientific Reports (2017). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-12287-6

Related Stories

Semi-transparent perovskite solar cells for solar windows

May 22, 2017

Scientists are exploring ways to develop transparent or semi-transparent solar cells as a substitute for glass walls in modern buildings with the aim of harnessing solar energy. But this has proven challenging, because transparency ...

First semi-transparent perovskite modules

May 25, 2016

Nanoelectronics research center imec, partner in Solliance, presented today the first-ever semi-transparent perovskite PV-module, achieving power conversion efficiencies up to 12%. The technology enables for semi-transparent ...

Glasses generate power with flexible organic solar cells

August 3, 2017

Organic solar cells are flexible, transparent and lightweight, and can be manufactured in arbitrary shapes or colors. Thus, they are suitable for a variety of applications that cannot be realized with conventional silicon ...

New way to make low-cost solar cell technology

November 14, 2016

Researchers at ANU have found a new way to fabricate high efficiency semi-transparent perovskite solar cells in a breakthrough that could lead to more efficient and cheaper solar electricity.

Recommended for you

Google braces for huge EU fine over Android

July 18, 2018

Google prepared Wednesday to be hit with huge EU fine for freezing out rivals of its Android mobile phone system in a ruling that could spark new tensions between Brussels and Washington.

EU set to fine Google billions over Android: sources

July 17, 2018

The EU is set to fine US internet giant Google several billion euros this week for freezing out rivals of its Android mobile phone system, sources said, in a ruling that risks fresh tensions with Washington.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.