Wearable flexible electronics often require sustainable power sources that are also mechanically flexible to survive the extreme bending that accompanies their general use.

Ultra thin flexible GaAs photovoltaics

In general, thinner microelectronic devices are under less strain when bent. This paper describes strategies to realize ultra-thin GaAs photovoltaics through the inter layer adhesive less transfer-printing of vertical-type devices onto metal surfaces.

The vertical-type GaAs photovoltaic devices recycle reflected photons by means of bottom electrodes.

Systematic studies with four different types of solar microcells indicate that the vertical-type solar microcells, at only a quarter of the thickness of similarly designed lateral-type cells, generate a level of electric power similar to that of thicker cells.

The experimental results along with the theoretical analysis conducted here show that the ultra-thin vertical-type solar microcells are durable under extreme bending and thus suitable for use in the manufacturing of wearable flexible electronics.

more : Applied Physics Letters