Sci-Tech | Feb 02

Revolutionizing Wearables: RIKEN Develops Ultra-Thin, High-Efficiency Solar Cells for Fabric

TOKYO, Feb 02 (News On Japan) - The dream of power-generating clothing is closer to reality with the development of an "ultra-thin organic solar cell" that overcomes water's challenges. It functions flawlessly even after laundering and can generate electricity underwater for extended periods.

RIKEN has successfully developed an ultra-thin organic solar cell, only 3 micrometers thick, that continues to produce electricity even when submerged in water and exposed to light.

Kenjiro Fukuda, a dedicated researcher at RIKEN, explained, "By developing a new technique to strengthen the interface adhesion between the power-generating layer and the silver top electrode, we have succeeded in achieving overwhelming thinness, high efficiency, and water resistance."

Previous ultra-thin organic solar cells were vulnerable to water. However, the newly developed cell uses a novel technique involving silver oxide to not only retain its thinness and lightness but also improve its flexibility to withstand bending and enhance its water resistance.

This advancement has enabled continuous electricity generation underwater for over an hour, a feat not possible with traditional cells.

With its ability to withstand laundering, the new solar cell paves the way for integration into clothing and use in wearable devices. It remains functional even when wet from rain or hand washing, offering promising applications for powering wearables in various conditions.

Source: FNN


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