Materials: Solar cells take a stretch

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
471,
Page:
139
Date published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/471139a
Published online

Electronics made of organic materials such as plastic are appealing because of their flexibility and their ability to be used in biological systems, textiles and moving machine parts. Zhenan Bao and her colleagues at Stanford University in California have made the first intrinsically stretchable organic solar cells.

They created the devices by depositing organic films used in previous organic photovoltaics on a pre-stretched rubber base that they then allowed to compress. This introduced buckling waves in the films that made them stretchable.

The team found that the resulting solar cells remained completely functional when stretched lengthwise by up to 27%. Surprisingly, the cells' performance did not depend on the amount by which they were stretched.

Adv. Mater. doi:10.1002/adma.201004426 (2011)

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