An international research team at the University of Southern Denmark has succeeded in producing a new type solar cells that are thin as paper.

Researchers at SDU NanoSYD have succeeded in producing highly effective paper-thin organic solar cells. Now they will attempt to print out the solar panels in rolls several meters long so that the panels can be spread over roofs and cars. Credit: SDU NanoSYD

A team consisting of 14 researchers at the University of Southern Denmark have been working to develop future solar cells.

The goal from the start has been to develop a new, super-thin solar cell that is also significantly cheaper than today’s solar cells. Now, the research team has achieved a breakthrough in their work.

The new type of carbon-based solar cell that they managed to construct is as thin as paper, flexible and made of an organic material. The development of the solar cells is in principle be fully completed, what remains is to push the cells onto strips of foil or celluloid to be installed on rooftops, boats, or perhaps cars.

One problem that remains to be resolved, however, is that the lifespan for super-thin solar cells is significantly shorter compared to thicker, conventional cells.

SDU to print cheap and ultra-thin solar panels