Flexible, Light-Weight, and Solid-State Nanocrystalline TiO2-Polymer Solar Cells on Plastics
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
This SBIR Phase I project proposes to develop flexible, lightweight, highly efficient, and low-cost dye sensitized nanocrystalline TiO2 solar cells. The proposed all-polymer and flexible versions of Gr¿tzel cells made by continuous coating and laminationprocess will be very attractive for deployable shelters at a projected cost of ~$ 0.40/Wp. Although dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) show promise as low-cost photovoltaic alternatives, considerable problems remain with regard to their use of liquid redoxelectrolytes that are to difficult to seal and maintain for the lifetime required for large-scale economic power production. EIC Laboratories proposes to investigate and develop both ionically and electrically conducting polymers as potential replacementsfor liquid electrolytes in the DSSCs. Furthermore, the laminated polymer composite counter electrode and low temperature processing of screen-printed TiO2 layers on flexible plastic substrates proposed here will make DSSCs suitable for direct attachmentto tentage and other textiles. The goal of the Phase I research is the first demonstration of a fully flexible, all-polymer dye sensitized solar cell with a conversion efficiency of >5% and its lamination to a tent textile substrate.With growing concernsover the dwindling nature of fossil fuel supplies, global warming and climate change, photovoltaic technology is becoming increasingly viable as an alternative energy source. The proposed all-polymer and flexible version of dye-sensitized integrated solarcells will be very attractive for terrestrial and space power generation applications including Air Force deployable structures, where high specific power and mechanical flexibility are needed at a a very low production cost. Other low power applicationsinclude consumer electronics, smart cards, sensors, electrochromic widows, mirrors and eye ware.
Small Business Information at Submission:
EIC LABORATORIES, INC.
111 Downey Street Norwood, MA 02062
Number of Employees: