Eight months ago, a state-funded French research institute and Japanese textiles company Toyobo announced they would join forces to develop superior organic solar cells for indoor applications. The partnership, the French organization said at the time, was aimed at developing thin, flexible solar cells which could function where conventional, inorganic solar cells could not.
The new energy technologies and nanomaterials (Liten) division of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission and Toyoba have published the first results of six months of research: small organic solar cells they say offer the “best conversion efficiency in the world in a dark room”.
“During a verification experiment under neon lighting of 220 lux – equivalent to the brightness of a dark room – it was confirmed that the product tested had achieved a conversion efficiency of about 25%, or 60% more than that of amorphous silicon solar cells commonly used for pocket calculators,” said Liten and Toyobo. The latter firmed up the claim by stating it measured efficiency of 16% under the same brightness for amorphous silicon devices.