Solar film turns smartphone, car into sun-powered devices

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Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a solar film that can be used on glass devices such as building windows and smartphone screens to harvest energy from the sun.

The device is made of two thin polymer solar cells that collect rays from the sun and turn it into energy.

"We anticipate this device will offer new directions for solar cells, including the creation of solar windows on homes and office buildings," said head researcher Yang Yang.

Researchers observed double the efficiency of a similar cell they created last year and are working towards processing the materials at a low temperature to make them easy to manufacture.

"Using two solar cells with the new interfacial materials in between produces close to two times the energy we originally observed," Yang said.

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UCLA currently has a working prototype of the solar film but there is no word yet on when the technology will be produced for consumers.