Last year MIT scientists printed solar cells on paper, and now they’ve taken that research and made it more inexpensive and versatile. The current generation of cells can be printed on any ordinary uncoated paper, cloth, or plastic and folded hundreds of times. Using oxidative chemical vapor deposition to vapor-print electrodes, the printed solar cells produce less than 50 V, enough to power small devices.
The new technology is reported in a paper in the journal Advanced Materials, which was published a few days ago. Karen Gleason ’82, SM ’82, the Alexander and I. Michael Kasser Professor of Chemical Engineering; Professor of Electrical Engineering Vladimir Bulović; graduate student Miles Barr; and six other students and postdocs co-authored the paper.