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    Description

    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.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Zhou, Yinhua; Fuentes-Hernandez, Canek; Khan, Talha M.; Liu, Jen-Chieh; Hsu, James; Shim, Jae Won; Dindar, Amir; Youngblood, Jeffrey P.; Moon, Robert J.; Kippelen, Bernard. 2013. Recyclable organic solar cells on cellulose nanocrystal substrates. Scientific Reports. 3(1536): 5 p.

    Keywords

    Cellulose nanocrystal films, solar cells, composites, disperse, recovery

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/43564