Send to

Choose Destination
Sci Rep. 2013;3:1536. doi: 10.1038/srep01536.

Recyclable organic solar cells on cellulose nanocrystal substrates.

Author information

Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA.


Solar energy is potentially the largest source of renewable energy at our disposal, but significant advances are required to make photovoltaic technologies economically viable and, from a life-cycle perspective, environmentally friendly, and consequently scalable. Cellulose nanomaterials are emerging high-value nanoparticles extracted from plants that are abundant, renewable, and sustainable. Here, we report on the first demonstration of efficient polymer solar cells fabricated on optically transparent cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) substrates. The solar cells fabricated on the CNC substrates display good rectification in the dark and reach a power conversion efficiency of 2.7%. In addition, we demonstrate that these solar cells can be easily separated and recycled into their major components using low-energy processes at room temperature, opening the door for a truly recyclable solar cell technology. Efficient and easily recyclable organic solar cells on CNC substrates are expected to be an attractive technology for sustainable, scalable, and environmentally-friendly energy production.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center