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New ink lets printed photos produce energy

Work & Lifestyle

Finnish researchers printed photovoltaic ink onto a solar cell to create energy-producing photographs.

Using new designs to make old objects sustainable is something we’re seeing more of, such as these solar powered e-paper city signs and connected clothing that create networked wardrobes. In Finland, researchers from the Aalto University School of Science developed an inkjet printed solar cell that produces energy from images and text.

The ink is photovoltaic, thus converting some of the energy generated by the absorption of light into electricity. The solar cell is partially transparent, which allows different colors and patterns to show. The inkjet printing capability of this technology makes it particularly accessible, turning any printed image or text into an energy producer. Future use of the ink and solar cell could enable low energy devices to generate their own power via integral design.

How could the self-generation of energy be combined with the trends for miniaturization and personalization?



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