Orak had something important to tell his friends. A team of South Korean researchers had come up with low-cost, flexible, and efficient solar cells. Solar cells are devices that convert sunlight into electricity. Solar panels are made of solar cells. He knew Felix would be excited to learn more about it!
Orak peeked into the dorm room. Scorch and Verum were sitting at their desks. No Felix. Scorch and Verum joined him in his search for Felix. They went to Felix’s secret garden. But Felix was nowhere to be found. “Maybe he is up on the roof flying with his bird friends,” Orak thought out loud and started climbing up the stairs.
“Felix, here you are! We have been searching everywhere for you!” Orak said.
“Hi, Orak,” Felix greeted his friend. “I was just installing solar panels on the dorm’s roof. With solar cells and panels, we can convert sunlight into electricity. It can power up the whole building in an environment-friendly way!”
“That’s such a great idea, Felix. I have just the news to share,” Orak said and told his friends about the South Korean researchers.
“How did they discover such an effective way?” Felix said.
“Organic solar cells (OSCs) are already lightweight, flexible, and efficient. The OSCs use electrodes. An electrode is a conductor that carries electricity. Before this breakthrough, electrodes made of indium tin oxide were in use. Indium tin oxide is costly and fragile. It was difficult to manufacture flexible solar panels. Also, it was difficult to produce it on a larger scale.
So, the team replaced indium tin oxide with low-cost zinc oxide. They came up with a new way to manufacture electrodes in the solar cells,” Orak said.
“I am glad researchers found an alternative,” Scorch said.
“But did the low-cost zinc oxide affect the efficiency of OSCs?” Verum wanted to know.
“Not at all!” Orak said.
“In fact, due to the low-cost zinc oxide, now the OSCs can be manufactured in many nations domestically. Even in South Korea, indium tin oxide had to be imported from other countries,” Orak said.
“Brilliant, now more and more people and businesses can make use of sunlight to produce energy!” Felix rejoiced.