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Print your own solar cell at home

printer1.jpgTracy Island still lives on in the memory of those who wanted to follow Blue Peter’s build-it-yourself-with-sticky-back-plastic ethos. Don’t go down Toys R Us, just get your hands dirty and get stuck in, the shiny eyed, clean limbed, big toothed presenters oozed from every pore.

Perhaps they’d like this news story. Instead of heading down to whatever the renewable energy equivalent of B&Q is, why not make a solar cell yourself, at home, with a printer.

This idea comes courtesy of Konarka Technologies, which has dreamt up Power Plastic, a material that converts light to energy, and has apparently conducted the first ever demonstration of making organic bulk heterojunction solar cells with inkjet printing.

How cool is that?

More details from Konarka:

Inkjet printing is a commonly used technique for controlled deposition of solutions of functional materials in specific locations on a substrate and can provide easy and fast deposition of polymer films over a large area. The demonstration confirms that organic solar cells can be processed with printing technologies with little or no loss compared to “clean room” semiconductor technologies such as spin coating. The most popular printing tool for organic electronics, inkjet printing could become a smart tool to manufacturer solar cells with multiple colors and patterns for lower power requirement products, like indoor or sensor applications. Inkjet printing is considered very promising because the polymer devices can be fabricated very easily because of the compatibility with various substrates and it does not require additional patterning.

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