Issue Date: June 26, 2017
Solar-powered smart sunglasses
Organic solar cells’ low weight, mechanical flexibility, arbitrary coloring, and other attributes provide engineers with exceptional freedom when it comes to designing applications. Researchers in Germany have capitalized on that combination of properties to conduct a case study on the fabrication, optimization, and performance of a self-powered, wearable smart device: electronic sunglasses with integrated solar cells (Energy Technol. 2017, DOI: 10.1002/ente.201700226). The sunglasses, which were designed by Dominik Landerer, Alexander Colsmann, and coworkers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, feature organic solar cells embedded in the lenses. For device evaluation purposes, the team designed the glasses such that the semitransparent cells supply power to sensors that monitor illumination intensity and ambient temperature. The temples of the glasses’ frame house the sensors, microprocessor, and liquid-crystal display circuitry. The team used solution-phase processing methods and commercially available organic polymers and fullerenes to assemble the light-absorbing photovoltaic layer. The researchers note that the sunglasses, which resemble commercial ones in appearance, weight, and eye protection against UV radiation, function reliably in intense outdoor light and typical indoor lighting.
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
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