Solar cells made from trees

We once compared solar cells to green leaves, which all capture sunlight and turn it into energy. Today, some components of solar cells through technological innovation can be obtained from trees.

的 Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Purdue University have used natural plant materials like trees to develop a solar cell. At the same time, the solar cell is mounted on a cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) substrate and can be recycled immediately after the end of the battery's life.

It is understood that the energy conversion rate of this organic solar cell is 2.7%, which is unprecedented in the battery made of recycled raw material matrix.

的 The CNC matrix that provides the assembly platform for solar cells is optically transparent, so light can pass through them and be absorbed by a very thin organic semiconductor layer. The solar cell can be easily immersed in water at room temperature during the recycling process. In just a few minutes, the CNC matrix will be dissolved, and then the main components of the cell can be easily separated.

To date, organic solar cells can usually be assembled on glass or plastic. Products made by either method cannot be easily recycled, and the petroleum-based material matrix can cause environmental damage. Although paper-based substrates are environmentally friendly, performance is limited due to their rough surface and porosity. However, cellulose nanomaterials prepared from trees and green plants are renewable and sustainable. Thin films with a thickness of 2 nanometers also reduce their surface roughness.

The researchers said that the next goal is to increase the energy conversion rate to more than 10%, so that it can be comparable to glass and petroleum-based solar cells with energy efficiency. By optimizing the optical reachability of the solar cell electrodes, the goal can be achieved.

Solar cells made from trees:Waiting for you to sit on the sofa!


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