Conventional solar panels typically use silicon to capture the sun’s energy. But Sadok Ben Dkhil from Dracula Technologies and his team have developed a conductive plastic that can capture a wider range of wavelengths.
Which means that ambient light may be all you need to charge your phone. Small, thin and flexible panels using the Dracula Technologies and created with an inkjet printer can harvest energy from artificial light and sunlight.
Other possibilities also open up with this technology, according to Yuhang Liu from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. “The plastic panels could also be incorporated into curtains to power small household appliances like lamps and air fresheners,” he says.
This story is also part of our November 24 7-IN-7 podcast about solar panels and cells