Images via Steven Dietz/For the Tribune-Review (organic solar cell module) and Plextronics (manufacturing line)
Plextronics is at it again. The company known for e-ink technology and solar cell research is testing out a pretty amazing line of lighting technology. The new "D" line would someday allow homeowners to adjust the mood lighting in their living rooms by adjusting wafer-thin lighting embedded in a flexible flat surface.
This sounds neat, but it's the future potential of the technology that is the really cool part.
The company is using the line to learn about and fine-tune the processes needed to translate its products to commercial applications. Applications might include a TV screen that can bend and even be folded up like a mat, to be stored on a shelf. And a device that could fit on a soldier's sleeve to display maps, powered by a solar panel sewn to a backpack.
The company's background in solar cell technology combined with this interest in display technology could lead to some amazing energy efficient, solar powered gadgets that provide users with the service they need without fossil fuel-based electricity.
Four layers of Plextronics' inks used in a solar cell would measure about 1/1,000th the thickness of a human hair, Thompson said, and the substances are designed to conduct power and light in an inexpensive, cost-efficient way.
The company's inks are being geared for use in organic light emitting diodes (OLED), the next-generation LED lighting that can produce vivid colors in more intense displays, on thinner and even flexible surfaces such as a TV screen. And solar-powered lighting could provide nighttime illumination, for the first time, to remote areas of India, for example, Thompson said.
While we still have awhile to wait before OLED displays are readily available at affordable costs - let alone Plextronic's advanced technology is likely quite a few years away from being used on a mainstream level. Still, it's an exciting development for off-grid display and lighting technology.
Via Pittsburgh Live
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