PV world comes with another surprise: paper-based solar cells
An American- Chinese team of solar developers shows that there is a way that they can develop highly efficient solar cells from cheap wood fiber.
A team of developers from the South China University of Technology teamed up with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and revealed a report that shows that a new type of paper can be used as a base for the future generation of solar cells. The innovative cells could reach a level of 95% of transparency.
The report underlines the fact that the new wood-based papers has a bigger quality that all the other materials, especially regarding transparency, low-cost, efficiency and eco-friendly performance that can revolutionize the solar PV industry.
As the report shows, the paper constitutes of TEMPO-oxidized wood fibers that dispose of micropores and nanopores instead, so that the transparency values and optical haze reach values above 90%, respectively 60%. The latter is the highest figure among the transparent substrats. Normally, materials that offer a big transparency , a big advantage for the solar transmission, lower the optical haze values to less than 20%.
But the TEMPO treatment undermines the connection between the microfibers that make up generally wood fibers leading them to crash into a structure that dispose of micropores. Usually, the wood fibers in ordinary paper have low transparency because of the microcavities that are a part of the porous structure. The transparency is booted by replacing micropore with nanapores
The representative of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland , Liangbing Hu , says that “the papers are made of ribbon-like materials that can stack well without microsize cavities for high transmittance, but with nanopores for high optical haze.”
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