Transparent & Flexible Solar Cells

Bill Weir, C. Michael Kim, David Miller, Justin Bare & Brad Marxer
This Could Be BigJuly 26, 2012

Researchers at UCLA have created a new transparent polymer based solar cell that may eventually turn buildings, cars and smart phones into energy generating solar cells.

Every 15 minutes the Earth is hit with enough sunlight to provide energy for the entire planet - for a whole year! The goal is to harness that energy at the highest efficiency possible.

By absorbing infrared light instead of visible light, like current solar cells, the polymer solar cells are nearly 70 percent transparent to the human eye. So they can be applied to clear surfaces that were previously unable to house solar cells.

That means they could be applied to portable gadgets like smart phones, tablets and MP3 players. They could also be applied to the top of your car or to the side of skyscrapers.

The lead researchers from UCLA, Professors Yang Yang and Paul Weiss, joined us from their office at UCLA to discuss the breakthrough.