Solar Cells, thinner than a thread of Spider silk.



Sunlight is omnipresent and from many years researchers from all across the world has been working on developing new methods to maximize the use of solar energy, which is also a renewable source of energy.

Adding more weight to the study, researchers from Austria and Japan have recently developed Ultra-thin Solar cells/batteries, thinner than a thread of Spider silk which is flexible enough to be wrapped around a single human hair.

According to research published in an online journal Nature Communications, It’s the world lightest and thinnest Solar cells which comprise electrodes on a plastic foil and is about 1.9 micro-metres and is about a tenth the size of the thinnest solar cells that are currently available. It was made by applying a specially developed semiconductor ink to a piece of plastic film and the researchers believe it will have uses as a power supply in medical procedures as well as in space.

“You could attach this device to your clothes like a badge to collect electricity (from the sun)...Elderly people who might want to wear sensors to monitor their health would not need to carry around batteries,” said one of the researchers, Tsuyoshi Sekitani from the University of Tokyo.

"Power generation by solar cells increases with their size. As this device is soft, it is less prone to damage by bending even if it gets bigger. Being ultra-thin means you don't feel its weight and it is elastic", Sekitani adds.

Their research was published on But this technology can take around 5 years to be ready for the practical use, since, researchers are now working to increase the rate of electricity conversion. Currently, efficiency of conversion from solar power to electricity is just 4.2 percent, substantially lower than typical solar panels.



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