Ultralight solar cells designed to drive drones

Ultralight solar cells designed to drive drones

An ultrathin, flexible, stretchable and lightweight 'solar foil' has been produced from perovskite solar cells by researchers in Austria, who demonstrate the material's utility using solar powered miniature aircraft and blimps. To maximise the efficiency of a solar-powered airborne device, engineers want solar cells as light and thin as possible - for example, the aeroplane Solar Impulse 2, attempting to fly around the world using only solar power, uses 130μm-thick silicon solar cells. Organolead halide perovskites are promising photovoltaic materials because, as direct band gap semiconductors, they absorb light more efficiently, so thinner layers are needed. Unfortunately, the stability of perovskite cells under ambient conditions is a persistent problem, as the perovskite decomposes in the presence of water, and the decay products attack metal electrodes. Heavy encapsula...

Full article: http://www.electricvehiclesresearch.com/articles/8318/ult...

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