Flexible films for photovoltaics

Dr. Sabine Amberg-Schwab and Dr. Klaus Noller have developed a specially coated polymer film that is ideally suited for encapsulating inorganic solar cells. Photovoltaics, displays that can be rolled up and flexible solar cells. Barrier layers,that protect thin-film solar cells from oxygen and water vapor and thus increase their useful life are an essential component. Potato chips and thin-film solar cells are common, that protect them from air and water vapor: the chips in order to stay fresh and crisp; the solar cells in order to have a useful life that is as long as possible. In some cases,glass is used to protect the active layers of the solar cells from environmental influences.

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Flexible films for photovoltaics

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Metal particle generates new hope for hydrogen energy

Led by Associate Professor Greg Metha, Head of Chemistry, the researchers are exploring how the metal nanoparticles act as highly efficient catalysts in using solar radiation to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. “Efficient and direct production of hydrogen from solar radiation provides a renewable energy source that is the pinnacle of clean energy,” said Associate Professor Greg Metha. “We believe this work will contribute significantly to the global effort to convert solar energy into portable chemical energy.”

Inkjet printing could change the face of solar energy industry

Inkjet printers, a low-cost technology that in recent decades has revolutionized home and small office printing, may soon offer similar benefits for the future of solar energy. Engineers at Oregon State University have discovered a way for the first time to create successful “CIGS” solar devices with inkjet printing, in work that reduces raw material waste by 90 percent and will significantly lower the cost of producing solar energy cells with some very promising compounds.

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