Solar cells – devices capable of converting sun light into electricity – were, until very recently, relatively large, heavy and inflexible. However, scientists have been working on a new cell type, as thin as a spider web and so flexible that may involve small objects like a hair.
According to an article published by Nature Communications site, a group of scientists from Japan and Austria has developed a new ultra thin photoelectric cell with only 1.9 micrometer thick, or 10 times thinner than a strand of spider web.
The new cell is composed of a number of electrodes placed on a sheet of plastic as well as being extremely flexible, enables the device involve objects without suffering any damage.
According to one of the scientists, Tsuyoshi Sekitani, the fact that the cell is ultra thin means that weight is not even noticed. Further more, while being resilient, the device is less likely to suffer damage even when it is bent or stretched.
Although the new cell is still not very efficient, scientists working on the project intend to solve this problem soon and start marketing the device in up to five years.