Researchers create plastic solar cells using food addictive
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have created environment-friendly plastic solar cells using a food addictive and it can be manufactured at room temperature.
wo of the key advantages are that these cells can be mass produced in the open air environment and that the process doesn’t pose health or environmental hazards, said Long Ye, post-doctoral research scholar in physics at NC State. Ye and his colleagues developed a semi-printed plastic solar cell that utilised o-methylanisole (o-MA) as the solvent. O-MA is a commonly used flavouring agent in foods and is non-toxic to humans. Plastic solar cells are popular because they are lightweight, flexible, transparent and inexpensive to manufacture. Unfortunately, the halogen-containing solvents used in their manufacture are an obstacle to large-scale commercialisation. These solvents are key to making sure that the solar cell’s morphology, or structure, maximises its energy efficiency. However, they are environmentally hazardous.