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Solar Power

Chemistry In Pictures

Chemistry in Pictures: Solar flex

by Manny I. Fox Morone
June 1, 2022


A solar cell that looks like a wrinkly iridescent square of film sits on the surface of a bubble with more bubbles floating in the background.
Credit: Anastasia Serin/ King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

While silicon solar panels are somewhat common in many parts of the world, they’re usually too heavy and rigid for miniature electronics and biological applications. To get around those limitations, Derya Baran’s lab at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology is trying to inkjet-print remarkably light solar cells like this one. It’s so thin it can sit on top of a bubble without popping it. By printing and drying various inks, each of which functions as a component of a solar cell, the researchers created a layered but flexible energy conversion device. This photo was named one of Nature’s best science images of 2020.

Submitted by Anastasia Serin/ King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Follow Derya Baran and her lab on Twitter@DeryaBaranB.

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This story was updated on June 23, 2022, to correct which institution highlighted the photo in 2020. The image was selected by Nature's visuals team, not Nature Portfolio.


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