These thin solar cells can be produced by stacking sheets of single molecule-thick graphene or molybdenum disulfide.
Why is this important? Because the researchers have demonstrated that it is possible to create solar cells with efficiencies of 1-2% when using a single bilayer of two-dimensional materials.
Compared to conventional solar cells, and the resources, time, and materials that go into making them, the new solar cells have a bright future because they use considerably less material, are a thousand times lighter – lighter than tissue paper, and they take up much less space.
As of now, the two-layer solar cell design is about 1 nanometer thick — hundreds of thousands of times thinner than a conventional silicon solar cell.
This technology can be used anywhere weight is an issue – from the space and aviation industries to the manufacturing sector. To boot, stacking together over two layers might raise the efficiency even more significantly.
These new solar cells have a thousand times more power than traditional photovoltaics.