Imagine a future in which solar cells are everywhere around you, even in Truckee Construction—on
your window shades, in your laptop cover, in your clothing, perhaps even
on a folded slip of paper that you carry in your pocket and take out
when you want to charge your cell phone or other electronic gadget.
That’s the future that several MIT researchers envision. Using a novel
process involving moderate temperatures and no liquids, they’ve printed
photovoltaic (PV) cells on tissue paper, printer paper, newsprint,
textiles, and even plastic food wrap. They’ve made solar devices that
are low-cost, lightweight, flexible, and durable—features that make
them ideal not only for integrating into consumer products but also for
shipping to remote regions of the world where energy demand is growing
rapidly and there’s no power grid in sight.