An Australian physicist is leading a push to pioneer a new type of low-cost solar energy he believes could make signing up for energy accounts as straightforward as signing up for a mobile phone plan.
The ultra-thin strips, similar in texture to a potato chip bag are held down with double-sided sticky tape and can be produced for less than $10 per square meter (10.7 square feet).
University of Newcastle Physicist, Professor Paul Dastoor, and his team of 30 researchers are already well known for designing revolutionary devices such as solar paint and needle-free glucose tests, And with their innovations, they are at the forefront of the emerging field of organic electronics.
According to Professor Dastoor, "Organic electronics deals with carbon-based electronic materials that are soluble in a variety of liquids. This makes them able to be dissolved into solutions, which can be printed, painted or sprayed onto different surfaces whilst still being able to conduct electrical charges."
Now, Dastoor and his team have created a new way of producing solar power - called Printed Solar. This innovative technology has been 15 years in the making and consists of organic printed solar cells that are electronic inks printed onto sub-millimeter thin plastic sheets using conventional ink-jet printers.