Customised solar cells printed digitally

Solar cells

A new solar cell technology is on the verge of a breakthrough. A young Swiss company is playing a leading role with its upcoming production start.

A new technology is about to get off the starting blocks: a solar cell made from perovskite material. This is the collective term for innovative materials whose crystal structure resembles that of the natural mineral also known as perovskite. Perovskite solar cells have developed quickly. Over the past ten years, their level of efficiency has literally exploded, increasing from a modest 3% to more than 20% according to the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Indoor solar cells

Perovskite solar cells are capable of powering every electronic device indoors, owing to their extraordinary ability to absorb visible light. This offers a wealth of new opportunities for smartwatches, trackers, smart homes, consumer electronics, or any smart device that is fully operational even in indoor light. Compared to classic silicone-based solar cells, however, the efficiency and long-term stability of perovskite solar cells have been inadequate up to now.

Major scientific progress

But times have changed thanks to breakthrough research results, including from EPFL in Lausanne. Given the immense scientific progress made, the MIT Technology Review ranks perovskite solar technology among the 10 biggest technical breakthroughs in 2024 and the step towards industrial use is not far away.

Customised solar cells made in Switzerland

A young Swiss company is going full throttle on this technology. The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) spin-off Perovskia Solar has developed innovative nanoparticle inks and digital printing technology to efficiently fabricate solar cells in any shape and size using perovskite. The solar cells produced by Perovskia Solar are customised so that they can be seamlessly integrated into electronic devices and sensors.

Company founder and CEO Anand Verma is no stranger to this field. From 2015 to 2020, he researched printing processes for flexible, inorganic perovskite solar cells at Empa before setting up the company with other experienced entrepreneurs in the solar industry.

A million custom-designed devices annually

This new technology is attracting a great deal of interest. Even before the start of production, over 15 market-leading clients in IoT, medical technology, and consumer electronics have placed orders with the young Swiss company. In a few months, a first automatic production line is set to print a million custom-designed perovskite devices annually, according to a press release.

Website of Perovskia Solar