What if you could have a sheet of solar cells so flexible, thin, and clear, that you could simply roll it onto the side of a building? Or even a window? What if solar cells could even be painted on? A sustainable future with solar energy harvested anywhere and everywhere. That’s how UCLA Samueli Professor Yang Yang is engineering change.
Yang, who holds the Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas, Jr. Chair in Engineering, is one of the most influential materials scientists in the world. He has led pioneering research in solar cells, using abundant and naturally-found materials that are non-toxic, such as perovskite. He’s made major insights into flexible and transparent photovoltaic polymers, and he continues to set performance records for power efficiency.
In the past few years, Yang has:
- Made record-setting dual-layer solar cells
- Developed more stable, next-generation perovskite solar cells
- Improved the architecture and performance of polymer solar cells
- Used liquid inks for a more efficient solar cell that could be cheaper to manufacture
- Developed highly transparent solar cells for use in windows or electronics screens