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For indoor lighting, scientists have developed new organic solar cells

Sep 18, 2019

   Compared with the more common counterparts that use crystalline silicon semiconductors, organic solar cells are thin, flexible, lightweight and inexpensive, allowing them to be used in a variety of applications, foreign media reported.Now researchers have developed a product optimized for indoor lighting.

   The new organic solar cell was developed by scientists from linkoping university in Sweden, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the university of science and technology Beijing.Its active layer is made up of a unique combination of donor and recipient materials that allows it to absorb light of the precise wavelengths common in most indoor environments.In short, the donor material absorbs photons, while the receptor gains electrons.

   So far scientists have created two prototypes, one measuring one square centimeter and the other measuring four square centimeters.

   When exposed to 1,000 lux of artificial light, the smaller one was found to convert light energy into electricity with a 26.1 per cent efficiency, according to the report.Over a period of more than 1,000 hours, it provides a voltage of more than 1 volt using ambient light, which varies between 200 and 1,000 lux (typical indoor lighting range).Meanwhile, the larger battery remained 23 percent efficient.

   This conversion rate is noteworthy because organic solar cells are not known to be particularly effective.In fact, scientists believe that, once further developed, the conversion rate of indoor organic solar cells should be even higher.They can then be used in applications such as powering simple devices as part of the Internet of things.