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16 Jun 2011

news.cnet.com writes:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have successfully coated paper with a solar cell, part of a suite of research projects aimed at energy breakthroughs.

Susan Hockfield, MIT’s president, and Paolo Scaroni, CEO of Italian oil company Eni, on Tuesday officially dedicated the Eni-MIT Solar Frontiers Research Center. Eni invested $5 million into the center, which is also receiving a $2 million National Science Foundation grant, said Vladimir Bulovic, the center’s director.

The printed solar cells, which Bulovic showed at a press conference Tuesday, are still in the research phase and are years from being commercialized.

However, the technique, in which paper is coated with organic semiconductor material using a process similar to an inkjet printer, is a promising way to lower the weight of solar panels. “If you could use a staple gun to install a solar panel, there could be a lot of value,” Bulovic said.

MIT researchers print solar cell on paper – [Link]

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