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Chinese lab makes step towards 'solar' fabric

Perovskite materials embedded in flexible fibre

Scientists at the State Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering of Polymers, at Fudan University, Shanghai have made perovskite (a calcium titanium oxide mineral) solar cells with a flexible fibre structure, opening up the possibility of weaving them into textiles.

The technique, detailed in the journal Angewandte Chemie, involved continuously winding an aligned multiwalled carbon nanotube sheet electrode onto a fibre electrode. Photoactive perovskite materials were incorporated inbetween them through a solution process.

The fibre-shaped perovskite solar cell exhibits an energy conversion efficiency of 3.3 percent, which remained stable on bending. The perovskite solar cell fibres may be woven into electronic textiles for large-scale application by well-developed textile technologies, according to the researchers, making them potentially useable in wearable and portable electronic devices.

Full details can be found in the paper  'Integrating Perovskite Solar Cells into a Flexible Fiber' by L. Qiu et al  (2014), Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.. doi: 10.1002/anie.201404973

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