A paper solar cell, which has been laminated in plastic, is connected to an LCD screen to demonstrate that it is producing power from ambient sunlight (Image courtesy of the Gleason Lab)
A sheet of paper that has had one of the layers of the solar cell printed on its surface (Photo: Patrick Gillooly/MIT)
A paper solar cell that has been repeatedly folded is illuminated from below and connected to a voltmeter to demonstrate its output (26 V) (Image courtesy of the Gleason Lab)
A sheet of paper placed into the vapor-printing chamber (Photo: Patrick Gillooly/MIT)
Graduate student Miles Barr holds a flexible and foldable array of solar cells that have been printed on a sheet of paper (Photo: Patrick Gillooly/MIT)
We've been following MIT's progress on creating solar cell-coated paper since 2010, and we're excited to report the current findings of the project. What looks and feels like an ordinary sheet of paper with a fine layer of colored rectangles, is no ordinary piece of paper at all – once connected to a couple of wires, it instantly generates solar electricity. Additionally, the technology is almost as cheap and easy as printing a family snapshot from an inkjet printer. You can even fold it up, slip it in your pocket, then unfold it again for later use.
Other Images from this Gallery