Scientists from MIT have recently invented a photovoltaic cell that is thin to light, light and flexible. They are light and plump and can even be placed on foam. Such a thin battery can be placed anywhere, from smart clothing. To helium balloon etc.
One of the researchers, who came to MIT's Vladimir Bulovi, said: 'It's so light, if you put it on your clothes or laptop, you don't even feel it's there. These batteries can be used as an easy extension to existing equipment. . '
The exciting part of this experiment is the versatility of this type of battery, even if it is still in the proof of concept phase. The key to making this new type of battery lies in the combination of the battery, substrate and protective layer. For a craft.
One of the advantages of doing so is that by manufacturing batteries and substrates together, the latter can be protected from dust intrusion and other contamination. A flexible polymer called parylene is used as a substrate and coating, and a An organic material called dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is used as the primary light absorbing layer.
Unlike traditional solar cell manufacturing processes, this entire process is done in a room-temperature vacuum chamber without the use of any chemical solvents or irritating chemicals. Vapor deposition techniques, that is, heat, pressure and chemical reactions on special materials The technique of forming a very thin coating is used to make batteries and substrates at the same time.
The MIT team said that making this breakthrough extremely important is the technology itself, not the materials used.
The ultra-light flexible battery thus produced is only one-fifth the thickness of human hair, which is one thousandth of the thickness of current glass-based batteries (about one micron), but their efficiency in converting sunlight into electricity is equally high.
In fact, they are a bit too thin. Another researcher, Joel Jean, said: 'If you breathe too hard, you blow it off.'
According to the inventor's introduction, they spent several years perfecting the vacuum substrate process to cover solar cells on fabrics, paper or almost all materials.
In space or at high altitudes, weight is critical and these batteries can play an important role, even if mass production currently takes some time.