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What color solar cell is your favorite?

I think many of us can remember the first time we took statics and we found out most of the trusses in a bridge don't carry load and are really just there for aesthetic purposes. The way things look is an important characteristic that should be considered in materials being used in buildings and structures.

Increasingly, mundane object like a roof and a window are transforming into opportunities to generate or save energy. Building integrated photovoltaics are one category of material applications in which the technology is integrated with the design of the structure. For example the windows not only bring in light but also absorb part of the solar spectrum and generate electricity.

How do we design these types of materials? This is a question that not only excites Minji Kim, of Ewha Womans University in Seoul Korea, but also has her in the lab answering it with her work on Light Scattering Optical Color Filters for Enhancing the Absorption in Colorful Semitransparent Solar Cells.

I was very unfamiliar to this area of research and her ability to explain the fundamental materials concepts and provide perspective on the big picture made her work easy to follow. I found myself hypnotized by her poster, it was elegantly designed. Her enthusiasm and pride in her work was like a beacon drawing me in to ask questions and learn more.

Definitely take a look at her paper with the same title as the poster, and decide which solar cell color is your favorite. I think the blue one is my personal favorite.


-Viva MSE


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