Organic solar cell attached to clothes and it is “washable”

A Japanese research group has developed a stretchable, waterproof ultra-thin organic solar cell that can be attached to clothes and washed.

The group was jointly formed by Riken, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the University of Tokyo. The solar cell is expected to be used as a power source that is for wearable devices and e-textiles and stable for a long period of time.

For the development of wearable sensors targeted at “biological continuous monitoring” (continuous monitoring of biological data such as blood pressure and body temperature), a power source that can be attached to clothes is necessary. Organic solar cells are drawing attention as major candidates because they can supply more than 1mW of power and are flexible.

On the other hand, it is necessary to realize a high enough energy conversion efficiency, flexibility and water resistance at the same time, which has so far been difficult. Especially, with a very thin film, a flat film surface cannot be easily realized. And it is difficult to stably operate such a cell while keeping a high performance for a long period of time because of the drastic deterioration of gas barrier property.

This time, by using the PNTz4T semiconducting polymer, which Riken developed in 2012, the research group formed an organic solar cell with a reversed structure, which realizes an excellent environmental stability, on a parylene substrate (1μm-thick polymer material).

With the solar cell detached from a glass supporting substrate, the group realized an energy conversion efficiency of 7.9%. At the time of emitting pseudo sunlight (output: 100mW/cm2), it has a short-circuit current density (JSC) of 16.2mA/cm2, release voltage (VOC) of 0.71V and fill factor of 69%.

Enjoy our free content ? Try our Legend services.

  • Star Level
  • Access to Grendz and the right to READ and SHARE our science techie green pins
  • The right to WRITE and SHARE your OWN science techie green pins
  • WEEKLY mind-blowing e-report with trends and news
  • First to know about new trends and news
  • No ads and no sales pitch
  • A special pin a month, posted by us, highlighting your own business
  • Our iOS app for free
  • Weekly social media promotions of your own pins
  • Customization on which trends categories you want us to follow closer.
  • 24h Support (via e-mail)
  • Cancel anytime your renewal
The Plain Vanilla Level
A Lot To Gain
And Nothing To Lose
The best way to get the most out of Grendz.
Share on Pinterest
More share buttons
Share with your friends