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Mitsubishi Chem, 3M team on solar cell window films for buildings

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Chemical and 3M are joining forces to develop and sell organic solar cells fabricated as window films for office buildings. Slated for marketing within the year, these films will let light through while generating electricity, turning windows into sources of power that help office buildings conserve energy and reduce their carbon footprints.

     The Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings group member and the U.S. company are collaborating to develop a bendable, transparent, film-like solar panel made by coating electrodes and organic semiconducting materials in a layer that is just 0.1 to 0.2 microns thick. The devices will have an energy conversion efficiency of only around 3%, which is low compared with the roughly 10% of conventional solar cells, but by fitting to windows they make use of space normally not utilized for generating electricity.

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