What if instead of toting around your phone charger, you were able to carry solar cells? That may soon become a reality as a group of Standford researchers have created flexible, peel and stick solar cell decals.
Generally, thin-film photovoltaic cells are fixed on rigid silicon and glass substrates. These are the kind of solar cells you normally see on the roofs of houses. The new technology allows for photovoltaic cells that can be attached to different, more flexible items, which in turn allows for more applications and lower costs.
How were the peel and stick solar cells created? An brief explanation was posted on Phys.org:
First, a 300-nanometer film of nickel (Ni) is deposited on a silicon/silicon dioxide (Si/SiO2) wafer. Thin-film solar cells are then deposited on the nickel layer utilizing standard fabrication techniques, and covered with a layer of protective polymer. A thermal release tape is then attached to the top of the thin-film solar cells to augment their transfer off of the production wafer and onto a new substrate
What does all that mean? Basically, you can go green power an array of items such as your cellphone, tablet, laptop. Think of the possibilities if gadgets could be developed with a smaller battery that's supplemented by the use of these new solar cells.