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Issue 25, 2015
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Solar cells for self-sustainable intelligent packaging

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Nowadays there is a strong demand for intelligent packaging to provide comfort, welfare and security to owners, vendors and consumers by allowing them to know the contents and interact with the goods. This is of particular relevance for low cost, fully disposable and recyclable products, such as identification tags and medical diagnostic tests, and devices for analysis and/or quality control in food and pharmaceutical industries. However, the increase of complexity and processing capacity requires continuous power and can be addressed by the combined use of a small disposable battery, charged by a disposable solar cell, which is able to work under indoor lighting. Herein, we show a proof-of-concept of the pioneering production of thin-film amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells with an efficiency of 4% by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) on liquid packaging cardboard (LPC), which is commonly used in the food and beverage industries. Such accomplishment put us one step closer to this revolution by providing a flexible, renewable and extremely cheap autonomous energy packaging system. Moreover, such Si thin films take advantage of their good performance at low-light levels, which also makes them highly desirable for cheap mobile indoor applications.

Graphical abstract: Solar cells for self-sustainable intelligent packaging

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Article information

10 Mar 2015
17 Mar 2015
First published
17 Mar 2015

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2015,3, 13226-13236
Article type
Author version available

Solar cells for self-sustainable intelligent packaging

A. Vicente, H. Águas, T. Mateus, A. Araújo, A. Lyubchyk, S. Siitonen, E. Fortunato and R. Martins, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2015, 3, 13226
DOI: 10.1039/C5TA01752A

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