Editorial Feature

Charge Your Smartphone with New Solar Film Technology

By Kris Walker

Breakthrough Two-Layer Thin Film Solar Cell that could turn Mobile Displays into Solar Chargers. Image Credit: UCLA

Solar technology is an innovation that will both benefit the environment and the consumer market.

Smartphones that have little battery life could become a thing of the past, when companies have the technology to be able to use the unlimited resource of the sun to constantly recharge devices.

Researchers at UCLA have designed a two layer, solar film that could be applied to windows, sunroofs or smartphone displays due to its transparency.

Unlimited Power! People could no longer have to worry about their smartphone battery running out. Image Credit: Photos.com

This revolutionary photovoltaic cell is designed using two thin polymer solar cells, which is more efficient as; they can absorb more light than single layer solar panels.

This new solar film uses a combination of transparent and semi-transparent cells and has a conversion rate from sun to electric of 7.3 percent (which is higher than most devices).

Both polymer cells are made of photoactive plastic and include a new infrared-sensitive polymer, which has been created by the research team at UCLA and can absorb up to 80 percent of infrared light.

The transparent nature of the solar film could allow the solar charge to come straight from the display. Image Credit: Photos.com

What’s more important is that the materials are processed at low temperature, which enables the technology to be manufactured easily.

With the transparent nature of the solar film as well as its efficiency and high conversion rate, this technology could be easily incorporated into smartphone displays, and that’s just the beginning: this technology could have limitless possibilities.

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UCLA researchers double efficiency of novel solar cell

Kris Walker

Written by

Kris Walker

Kris has a BA(hons) in Media & Performance from the University of Salford. Aside from overseeing the editorial and video teams, Kris can be found in far flung corners of the world capturing the story behind the science on behalf of our clients. Outside of work, Kris is finally seeing a return on 25 years of hurt supporting Manchester City.


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