Solarmer to develop plastic solar cells for portable electronics

02-Feb-09
US-based developer of plastic solar cells, Solarmer Energy Inc. is on track to complete a commercial-grade prototype of plastic solar cells for portable electronic devices that will incorporate technology invented at the University of Chicago. The prototype, a cell measuring eight square inches (50 square centimeters), is expected to achieve 8 percent efficiency and to have a lifetime of at least three years. The technology invented at University of Chicago by Luping Yu, Professor in Chemistry, and Yongye Liang, a Ph.D. student is that of a new semiconducting material called PTB1 which converts sunlight into electricity. The active layer of PTB1 is a mere 100 nanometers thick, the width of approximately 1,000 atoms. Synthesizing even small amounts of the material is a time-consuming, multi-step process. Silicon-based solar cells dominate the market today; however, industry experts see a promising future for low-cost, flexible solar cells. The University of Chicago licensed the patent rights to the technology to Solarmer last September which covers several polymers under development in Yu's laboratory, said Matthew Martin, a project manager at UChicagoTech, the University's Office of Technology and Intellectual Property. A patent is pending. Compared to other polymers that have achieved similar efficiency levels, the main advantage of the Chicago technology is its simplicity in development to become a commercially viable product. Solarmer has entered into a sponsored research agreement with the University to provide additional support for a postdoctoral researcher in Yu's lab. The company looks forward to the identification of new polymers as a result of this collaboration, Lozofsky said.
  More News  Post Your Comment

Previous News

Next News

{{comment.Name}} made a post.
{{comment.DateTimeStampDisplay}}

{{comment.Comments}}

COMMENTS

0

There are no comments to display. Be the first one to comment!

*

Name Required.

*

Email Id Required.

Email Id Not Valid.

*

Mobile Required.

Email ID and Mobile Number are kept private and will not be shown publicly.
*

Message Required.

Click to Change image  Refresh Captcha