As a renter, we began to think about all the possibilities thinner and more flexible solar cells could afford: could we have solar power, without having to install panels on the roof?
Think about solar panels you've seen. They're relatively clunky and definitely not transparent.
Now, researchers led by John A. Rogers of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, have created very thin solar cells that can be placed on pliable and semi-transparent arrays. The potential is that they could be printed onto flexible plastic sheets or even onto semi-transparent windows, making them easier to install and transport.
Read Henry Fountain's article for The New York Times which covers the study, first reported in Nature Materials.
illustration: Chris Gash/The New York Times