Warwick University spinout Molecular Solar is to raise £5 million to create its own bespoke technology facility in order to bring its lightweight, flexible solar cells to the mainstream marketplace.

Molecular Solar researcher Professor Tim Jones, from the University said, “We are working with solar cells made from organic semi-conductor materials which offer the prospect of very low-cost manufacture of lightweight, flexible cells.

“They are made from sustainable materials and can be deployed as flexible sheets that could be used for a variety of applications, including a solar-powered mobile phone charger that rolls up into a shape as small as the size of a pen, micro-lights that can be added to clothing, and a detachable sun-shade for automobile windscreens that powers a small integral fan to circulate air and cool the interior of the car when parked in direct sunlight.”

The company is also participating in a £2.1 million project being funded by the Technology Strategy Board, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and other organisations, to develop prototype third-generation organic solar cells.

Dr Mark Payton, Managing Director of Mercia Fund Management which led the company’s latest investment round said, “Our model is to back world-leading academic excellence associated with scalable, disruptive technology – Molecular Solar excels on all fronts and we see this new venture as the potential leader in the development of third-generation organic solar technology making this form of energy provision open to a much broader marketplace.”