Skip navigation
C. Using Plastics To Create A More Efficient Future

Narrator: This is Science Today. Imagine being able to get electricity by stapling a plastic sheet with solar cells onto your roof? That's just one of the scenarios physicist Sue Carter of the University of California, Santa Cruz is working towards in the future.

Carter: One of the disadvantages of solar cells right now is that while they're efficient enough for use, you want to make them very, very cheap so people can afford to put them on their roofs, for example. Just line their entire roof with sheets of solar cells at a cost which would be considerably less than what their yearly electricity bill is.

Narrator: Carter says working with organic materials such as plastics, along with inorganic materials like silicon, will make cost-saving technologies more accessible to the general public.

Carter: If we're going to introduce a new technology, it's gotta be low cost, available to everybody, not just a select few people who can afford to buy it. It's got to be environmentally friendly. It's gotta use products which are either resusable, recyclable or renewable and it's gotta use very little energy to produce it.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.