Georgia Tech Perfects Low-Cost Organic Solar Cells

First application to be on small electronic devices like iPods in two years, with residential applications five years off.

Published: 30-Dec-2004

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are hoping their lightweight organic solar cells will revolutionize the power industry. Made from cheaper materials, the organic solar cells flexibility and featherweight construction promise to open up new markets for solar energy, potentially powering everything from Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags to iPods and laptop computers.

By using pentacene, researchers have been able to convert sunlight to electricity with high efficiency. According to Kippelen professor in the Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering the crystal make of pentacene makes it easier for electricity to move through than some other organic materials, which are more amorphous.

The solar cells are still at least five years away from residential applications but Kippelen estimates that they'll be ready to use in smaller devices, such as RFID tags within two years.

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