Coloured, see-through solar cells invented at Michigan Engineering could enable ‘stained’ glass windows, decorative panels and even shade that makes electricity.
The cells, believed to be the first semi-transparent, colored photovoltaics, have the potential to vastly broaden the use of the energy source, says Jay Guo, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, mechanical engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering who devised them.
They’re made with a technique that borrows from conventional inorganic solar cells and more up-and-coming organic cells. Their color isn’t derived from dyes, but rather from adjusting the thickness of their semiconductor layer to reflect certain wavelengths of light.
“I think this offers a very different way of utilizing solar technology rather than concentrating it in a small area,” Guo said. “We think we can make solar panels more beautiful — any color a designer wants. And we can vastly deploy these panels, even indoors.”
About the Professor: L. Jay Guo (https://www.eecs.umich.edu/eecs/etc/f…) is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (http://eecs.umich.edu/), Macromolecular Science and Engineering (http://www.macromse.com/) and Mechanical Engineering (http://me.engin.umich.edu/) at the University of Michigan College of Engineering (http://www.engin.umich.edu/).