Fully foldable solar cell can be bent in half without breaking

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Fully foldable solar cell can be bent in half without breaking

In recent years, flexible solar cells have shown promise in all these types of applications. They are usually made of thin film materials such as graphene, tungsten diselenide or copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) and deposited on flexible substrates such as polymers or even paper. As a result, the solar cell can be bent to a limited extent like a card.

But so far, they have not been completely folded in half without breaking. Some electronic devices are beginning to gain this ability, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Fold phones (and so on) that can open and close like a book.

“Unlike purely flexible electronic devices, foldable devices have to withstand more severe deformation, with a folding radius as small as 0.5 mm,” said Professor Il Jeon, the corresponding author of the study. “This is impossible to achieve in traditional ultra-thin glass substrates and metal oxide transparent conductors. They can become flexible, but they can never be completely folded.”

To solve this problem, the researchers Instead, use conductive films made of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). They embedded this film on a polyimide substrate and then doped molybdenum oxide to improve its conductivity.

Finally, the researchers were able to make solar cells with a thickness of only 7 microns, which can be folded into cells with a radius of only 0.5 mm. They can withstand more than 10,000 folding cycles without breaking. Of course, they also function well as solar cells, showing 15.2% power conversion efficiency and 80% transparency.

“The results obtained are some of the best flexible solar cells reported so far, both in terms of efficiency and mechanical stability.” Jeon said.

The research results were published in the “Advanced Science” magazine.

Fully foldable solar cell can be bent in half without breaking(1)