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The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has published research into 3D printed solar cells. Using Optomec’s aerosol jet technology, the AFRL intend to develop a more efficient production process for harnessing solar power.
Solar cells can generate electricity in an environmentally friendly way, but current, complex fabrication costs make the technology expensive. We’re looking at new ways to use materials and manufacturing technologies to make these less expensively.
Dr - Santanu - Bag - Aerosol - Jet
Dr. Santanu Bag with the Aerosol Jet additive manufacturing system. Photo via AFRL.
ARFL - Cell - Production - Perovskites - Silicon
The ARFL is approaching solar cell production with perovskites rather than the conventional silicon.
Traditionally, solar cells are created with pure crystalline silicon which, as Dr. Bag points out, is both labor intensive and expensive. By using the calcium titanium oxide mineral, Dr. Bag and his team have been able to develop a more efficient production process and one without the related high costs.
Dr - Santanu - Bag - Cells - Electricity
Dr. Santanu Bag explains that while “solar cells can generate electricity in an environmentally friendly way, but current, complex fabrication costs make the technology expensive.”
This approach enables reproducible fabrication of high-quality, printed thin-film perovskite with tailored composition, morphology and electronic properties suitable for the “lab-to-fab” technology transition.
Researchers - Step
The researchers then took this one step further by printing the...
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