Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are considered a suitable photovoltaic system for urban applications and highly bendable DSSCs can be expanded to applications such as dispensable DSSCs for commercial advertising and small portable power sources.

However, although many reports have shown flexible or highly bendable photoelectrodes using TCO-coated polymeric substrates or metal meshes, until now, few have shown highly bendable DSSCs using electrodes because the flexibility of a single electrode is not a critical issue for highly bendable DSSCs.

Here, we report a new DSSC design, inspired by the traditional Korean door structure consisting of a paper-bonded wooden frame, and a process for TCO-free highly bendable DSSCs utilizing glass paper and metal mesh. In the new DSSC design, constituents such as stainless steel mesh and mesoporous TiO2 loaded with a Ru-complex dye were bonded on the glass paper, which was sputter-coated with Pt on one side and filled with electrolyte.

The glass-paper-based flexible DSSCs showed 2% energy-conversion efficiency, which was maintained under bending until the radius of curvature reached 2 cm. The new glass-paper-based flexible DSSCs may have potential applications as low-cost highly bendable solar cells to overcome the limitations of conventional sandwich-type DSSCs.

Korean researchers have developed “paper solar cell,” applying the structure of traditional Korean pattern of wood framed door and hanji paper concept. It is considered the breakthrough technology that can push the solar voltaic industry a notch upward to explore a new market of solar cell, drawing attention from scientific circles at home and abroad. 

The research team led by Dr. Lee (Lee Dong-yoon and Cha Seung-il) at Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute made the announcement on the 28th that they have combined nano and fiber technologies to come up with light and flexible but low priced dye-sensitized solar cell. It has the durability and permeability with distinctive traditional Korean pattern but overcomes the limit of thin film solar cell which cannot be folded. Therefore, it doesn’t need to have the land to install the solar panels or abide by the strict environmental regulations, or be threatened by Chinese “price war.”

It has also gone a step further from the previously “flexible” solar cell which also had its limit in flexibility due to its base material. The new paper solar cell is expected to be applied in mobile devices or exteriors of buildings, or can be worn or detachable in clothes, opening a new chapter of solar cells.

Unlike the previous dye-sensitized solar cell, new type of paper solar cell uses longer fiber type of nano titania to make traditional hanji like paper which is very flexible and durable. To eradicate plastic substrate, they had also developed conductible metal mesh with the pattern of Korean wood framed door. Finally they attached glass paper to maintain the strength of the solar cell and to fixate electrode liquid.

When it is mass produced, the price of paper solar cell will be less than half of the current Si solar cell but the efficiency level will reach 5%, far beyond the commercialization level of 3%.


Everyone experiences rotating a shower knob to adjust to the proper temperature when he/ she takes a shower. Taking a shower is one of the most common experiences to everyone, and I wanted to use this common behavior as the main physical interaction for my project. For this virtual shower project, I changed the meaning of a hot shower to an emotional experience and a cold shower as a realistic experience.

As the user turns the shower knob towards the realistic side, money falls down from the shower-head, and various quotes that tell how to be rich falls down together. On the contrary, as user turns the shower knob to the emotional side, the rose petals and different quotes that tell how to fall in love fall down from the shower-head.

The different degrees of the rotation reflects the number of rose petals or leaves of money and the content of the text that fall. If the shower knob sits in the middle, both money and the rose petals fall down together. By turning a real shower knob in a physical space, the user can experience either an emotional or realistic virtual shower and can find the appropriate level of love and money.

Yoo Kyoung Noh

Crystal zoetrope 2009

Shade Pixel is an interactive display that uses flexible Spandex to represent information. It can be used as an ambient display for its peripherality; non-luminescent nature and simple appearance. The main difference from other displays is that Shade Pixel is applicable to the surfaces of everyday products or to the environment as an interactive skin.

The neat artistic display comes courtesy of Woohun Lee and JinHa Seong of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). They first created hundreds of animated geometric objects using 3-D animation software, and then engraved those object models into a crystal disc by using sub-surface laser engraving.

That crystal disc ended up sitting on a motor that spins at 120 rpm, in a circular bar stool configuration. A group of 25 LED lights surrounding the crystal disc help create the animation by blinking on and off at 80 hertz. People can play with the device based on a touch sensor array, which allows users to control the direction of the spinning spiral and its brightness.

Design Media Lab at the KIST

Fils Sound Film is a flexible, light transparent sound technology which can be used to create speakers pretty much anywhere you’d ever want. The speakers are actually produced using piezoelectric film which can produce sound waves when electrical current is applied. Sound quality isn’t stellar, since the low-end drops out at 200Hz, but the highs range all the way to 25kHz.


AntiVJ, a media performance group of European artists, recently took over the façade of one of New Songdo City’s recently constructed buildings, projecting onto it, an awe-inspiring audiovisual presentation.

An inspired homage to technology and construction itself, Songdo is a futuristic masterplan city being built on 1,500 acres of reclaimed land in South Korea, along Incheon’s waterfront, and AntiVJ’s work explores a similar theme to the development, that of the “importance of technology, the coexistence of the ancient and the new and the presence of the sea as both a calming and menacing element”.


New RFID Tag Could Mean the End of Bar Codes
Lines at the grocery store might become as obsolete as milkmen, if a new tag that seeks to replace bar codes becomes commonplace.

Researchers from Sunchon National University in Suncheon, South Korea, and Rice University in Houston have built a radio frequency identification tag that can be printed directly onto cereal boxes and potato chip bags. The tag uses ink laced with carbon nanotubes to print electronics on paper or plastic that could instantly transmit information about a cart full of groceries.

The new tag, reported in the March issue of IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, costs about three cents to print, compared to about 50 cents for each silicon-based tag. The team hopes to eventually bring that cost below one cent per tag to make the devices commercially competitive. It can store one bit of information — essentially a 1 or a 0 — in an area about the size of a business card.

“The work is impressive,” comments Thomas N. Jackson of Penn State University in University Park, who is also developing flexible electronics. He thinks it will be difficult to compete with silicon, which is well established in the realm of consumer products packaging. But similar technology could be used to do things silicon can’t do, he says, such as make smart bandages that can sense infections or freshness-sensing food packaging.

And for those who would rather not have their food broadcast radio waves after getting it home, fear not. Tour says the signals can be blocked by wrapping groceries in aluminum foil.

Sunchon National University

Rice University

Pohang Institute of Intelligent Robotics (PIRO) presents Windoro. Its two halves, that cling together via powerful magnets, scrub both sides of a window at once with their on-board cleaning solution.


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