Menu
These ultra-thin solar cells can be bent around a pencil

These ultra-thin solar cells can be bent around a pencil

Thin, bendable cells could bring solar power to many new devices

Scientists in South Korea have developed solar cells thin enough they can be bent around a pencil. The cells, which were announced on Monday, could help usher in the use of solar energy in small portable gadgets where space is at a premium.

The cells are fabricated onto a flexible substrate that is just a micrometer thick -- one-half to one-quarter the thickness of other "thin" solar cells and hundreds of times thinner than conventional cells. A human hair, by comparison, is about 100 micrometers.

The team at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea managed to reduce the thickness by directly attaching the cells to the substrate without the use of an adhesive.

They were stamped onto the substrate and then cold welded, a process that binds two materials together through pressure, not heat.

The scientists tested the cells and discovered they can almost be folded in half -- wrapped around a radius as small as 1.4 millimeters.

A paper describing the work was published on Monday in Applied Physics Letters, a journal of the American Institute of Physics.

Solar cells are commonly used as power sources in several types of large electronics, but their use on consumer items, such as gadgets and even cars, has been limited. That's in part because of the smaller area available to mount the cells and the fact that such products often have numerous curved surfaces. The new panels could overcome those limitations.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments