Portable electronic devices have from now on a new technology invented for making the battery life longer or making them to work completely on solar energy.
The plastic solar cells with eight square inches in size (50 square centimeters) will pnly achieve 8 percent efficiency (for the moment) and a lifetime of minimum 3 years. They use a new semiconducting material called PTB1 to convert the solar energy into electricity.
The prototype is manufactured in the laboratories of Solarmer Energy Inc., but the technology is patented by University of Chicago last September. The inventors are Luping Yu (Professor in Chemistry) and Yongye Liang, a Ph.D student.
While other laboratories invented similar polymers for transforming light into electricity, the one invented at the University of Chicago has the advantage of simplicity, they don’t need a complicated industrial process to make them a viable product.
Products using this technology will be presented by Dr. Vishal Shrotriya, Director of Technology Development, at the 5th annual Smart Fabric Conference, in Rome, from 10 to 12 March, 2009.