Solar cell that can bend and soak in water

20240201 4 figResearchers from Japan’s Riken Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS) and collaborators have developed an organic photovoltaic film that is both waterproof and flexible, which allows a solar cell to be put onto clothing and still function correctly after being rained on or even washed.

One of the potential uses of organic photovoltaics is to create wearable electronics – devices that can be attached to clothing that can monitor medical devices, for example, without requiring battery changes. However, researchers have found it challenging to achieve waterproofing without the use of extra layers that end up decreasing the flexibility of the film.

Now, in work published in Nature Communications, a team of scientists has achieved that, taking on the challenge of overcoming a key limitation of previous devices, which is that it is difficult to make them waterproof without reducing the flexibility.

For the full story, see the May 2024 edition of Smart Textiles & Wearables.


Photo: Riken