Printable solar materials could soon turn many parts of a house into solar panels | 10/16/2018 | Staff
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New houses could soon deliver on a long-awaited promise and incorporate windows or roof tiles that harvest solar energy, research conducted at KAUST suggests.

Derya Baran, at the KAUST Solar Center, and her colleagues have developed a photovoltaic organic material that captures light efficiently and that potentially could be coated on building materials.

Solar - Panels - Slabs - Silicon - Molecules

Traditional roof-mounted solar panels are made from slabs of silicon, but organic molecules can also capture energy from sunlight. These molecules could be formulated as inexpensive printable inks that are applied to regular building components such as windows. Turning sunlight into electricity is a multistep process, and the key to developing high-performance organic photovoltaic materials has been to find organic molecules that are good at every step, Baran explains.

When light strikes an organic photovoltaic material it knocks free an electron, leaving behind a positively charged hole. If the oppositely charged electron and hole recombine, the captured energy is lost. Thus, organic solar cells incorporate a mixture of electron donor and electron acceptor molecules to draw the charges apart.

Postgraduate - Studies - Lot - Hype - Fullerene

"When I started my postgraduate studies in 2015, there was a lot of hype about fullerene buckyball derivatives as acceptors, and record efficiencies were around 10-11 percent with poor stabilities," Baran recalls. But fullerenes have several drawbacks—not...
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