AIST Makes Tree With Solar-cell Leaves

May 27, 2008
Yukiko Kanou, Nikkei Electronics
The prototype of a foliage plant-like solar cell module
The prototype of a foliage plant-like solar cell module
[Click to enlarge image]
The leaf-like solar cell module
The leaf-like solar cell module
[Click to enlarge image]
The organic thin-film solar cell
The organic thin-film solar cell
[Click to enlarge image]
The structure of the organic thin-film solar cell
The structure of the organic thin-film solar cell
[Click to enlarge image]

A Japanese institute and firms prototyped a foliage plant-like solar cell module by using organic thin-film solar cells.

A leaf-like module featuring bright green solar cells was developed by National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Mitsubishi Corp and Tokki Corp.

The organic thin-film solar cell consists of a plastic substrate, phthalocyanine layer, fullerene layer and so forth. And eight 7.5cm2 solar cells connected in series constitute about 60cm2 solar cell module.

AIST, Mitsubishi and Tokki improved the durability of the module by sealing it with a very thin protective film to prevent the entry of water and oxygen, they said.

AIST aims at expanding the use of organic thin-film solar cells to the fields where design is important, such as architectural materials including walls and windows, clothing materials, livingware, leisure goods, outdoor products and toys.