from the hot-off-the-presses dept.
Al writes "A team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new kind of flexible solar cell that could be far cheaper to make than conventional silicon photovoltaics. The cells consist of an array of 500-nanometer-high cadmium sulfide pillars printed on top of an aluminum foil — the material surrounding the pillars absorbs light and releases electrons, while the pillars themselves transport the electrons to an electrical circuit. The closely packed pillars trap light between them, helping the surrounding material absorb more. This means the electrons also have a very short distance to travel through the pillars, so there are fewer chances of their getting trapped at defects and its possible to use low-quality, less expensive materials. '"You won't know the cost until you do this using a roll-to-roll process," says lead researchers Ali Javey. "But if you can do it, the cost could be 10 times less than what's used to make [crystalline] silicon panels."'"
"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit."
-- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban