Leaf-inspired solar panels yield significant power output, finds Princeton's Yueh-Lin (Lynn) Loo

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Taking their cue from the humble leaf, researchers have used microscopic folds on the surface of photovoltaic material to significantly increase the power output of flexible, low-cost solar cells. The research team's work involves photovoltaic systems made of relatively cheap plastic. Current solar panels are typically made of silicon, which is both more brittle and more expensive than plastics. So far, plastic panels have not been practical for widespread use because their energy production has been too low. But researchers have been working to increase that efficiency with the goal of creating a cheap, tough and flexible source of solar power. The work was featured in CleanTechnica.com.