Solarmer to develop plastic solar cells for portable electronics

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.




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