Solar Cells so light that can be placed on top of soap bubble

Scientists created solar cells so thin, flexible and lightweight that they could be placed on top of a soap bubble without breaking it.

Ultrathin, flexible photovoltaic cells from MIT research could find many new uses. Researchers at MIT have now demonstrated just such a technology. Though it may take years to develop into a commercial product, the laboratory proof-of-concept shows a new approach to making solar cells that could help power the next generation of portable electronic devices.

Images credit Joel Jean and Anna Osherov

The new process is described in a paper by MIT professor Vladimir Bulović, research scientist Annie Wang, and doctoral student Joel Jean, in the journal Organic Electronics.

Solar Cells so light that can be placed on top of soap bubble

Researcher Vladimir Bulović from MIT, said:

“It could be so light that you don’t even know it’s there, on your shirt or on your notebook. These cells could simply be an add-on to existing structures.

We have a proof-of-concept that works. How many miracles does it take to make it scalable? We think it’s a lot of hard work ahead, but likely no miracles needed.”