Friday, August 22, 2008

InkJet printer + Nail polish + pizza oven = solar cell !

A 23 year old PhD student who developed cutting-edge photovoltaic (solar) technology using a low-cost inkjet printing process has won the British Council Eureka Prize for Young Leaders in Environmental Issues and Climate Change.
prize winner Nicole Kuepper's iJET research
When asked to describe the process she says "To pattern the cell we spray on something like nail polish and then inkjet print a kind of nail polish remover which lets us etch certain parts of the wafer. This creates a metallisation pattern so we can deposit aluminium on the back surface of the solar cell and create our metal contacts to both the P and N-type silicon simultaneously using a very cheap, low temperature pizza oven! And hey presto we've created a simple, low-cost solar cell without having to use expensive high tech equipment or high temperature processes!"

Nicole is busy creating prototypes of the device and working toward implementing the technology in a commercial production environment.

Article here.

More solar stuff: here :)

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