/ Modified nov 6, 2018 3:51 p.m.

UA Researchers Developing Plastic-Based Solar Cells

The group is working on on organic, lower-cost solar power collectors

Solar Rooftop A solar panel array on a rooftop.

A University of Arizona biochemist is looking at the next development in solar power by giving it an organic twist.

Scott Saavedra is leading a team trying to find out how to make lightweight, low-cost devices that can capture solar energy and generate power for field use. He says it's possible to use solar power without relying on large silicon-based panels.

"But the durability is an issue. They are sensitive to oxygen, and they break down over extended use, so this is a challenge," he said.

Saavedra's group is trying to replace the silicon components found in rooftop solar panels with lower-cost organic plastics developed through molecular engineering. Researchers are testing plastic solar cells on thin film to evaluate the cells' efficiency and ability to endure difficult operating environments.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona