Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Solar Energy: Charged For The Future

Date:
September 11, 2006
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Once regarded as costly and impractical, solar technology is now poised to play a larger role in the future thanks to new developments that could result in lower costs and improved efficiency. Potential applications include cell phones, computers, automobiles, homes and office buildings. More than 28 papers on this topic will be presented during a three-day symposium Sept. 10-12 in San Francisco at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Once regarded as costly and impractical, solar technology is now poised to play a larger role in the future, thanks to new developments that could result in lower costs and improved efficiency. Potential applications include cell phones, computers, automobiles, homes and office buildings.

Related Articles


The American Chemical Society will address the progress and challenge of this technology during a first of its kind symposium, "Science and Technology of Next Generation Photovoltaics," from Sunday, Sept. 10, through Tuesday, Sept. 12, in San Francisco during the Society's 232nd national meeting.

Here are a few highlights of research toward improving the efficiency of solar cells:

"Plastic" solar cells show gains in performance -- Nobel Prize winner Alan J. Heeger, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara, say that new developments in "plastic" solar cells, particularly chemical modifications to titanium oxide layers, could provide efficiencies of up to 15 percent in the future. He already has developed plastic solar cells with efficiencies between 5 percent and 6 percent, considered among the highest to date for this type of solar cell. These developments could pave the way for wider use of plastic solar cells, a type of conducting polymer, which are increasingly seen as a low cost, efficient and long-lasting source of solar energy. Heeger, a professor at the University, shared the 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his contributions toward the discovery of plastics that conduct electricity. His presentation will be delivered by study co-author and University colleague Kwanghee Lee, Ph.D.

Ultrathin, dye-sensitized solar cells called most efficient to date -- Researchers in Switzerland have developed dye-sensitized solar cells that have reached the highest efficiencies to date among a new generation of thin film photovoltaic devices that show promise as a low-cost energy source. The new cells, composed of an ultrathin film of nano-sized semiconductor crystals such as titanium dioxide, have been shown in laboratory studies to produce efficiencies of 11 percent, whereas most new solar cells have efficiencies between 4 percent and 5 percent, according to Michael Graetzel, Ph.D., a chemist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne. These cells, which can be engineered into inexpensive, flexible sheets, could be used as coatings on glass windows to supply electric power to homes and businesses or as coatings on tents to supply power for soldiers in the field. The cells could be used in consumer applications within two to three years, the researcher says.

Carbon nanotubes could boost efficiency of solar cells -- Researchers at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana say they have found a new and promising way to boost the efficiency of solar cells. In preliminary studies, carbon nanotubes that were engineered into the architecture of semiconductor solar cells (composed of cadmium sulfide, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) resulted in a doubling of the cells' photoconversion efficiencies (converting light into energy). In some cases, the efficiency of solar cells jumped from 5 percent to 10 percent in the presence of carbon nanotubes, according to Prashant Kamat, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry at the University. Carbon nanotubes also could be added to other types of solar cells, such as dye-sensitized solar cells and organic solar cells based on conducting polymers, to create similar or even stronger efficiency boosts, he says.

The American Chemical Society -- the world's largest scientific society -- is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Solar Energy: Charged For The Future." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060911102937.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2006, September 11). Solar Energy: Charged For The Future. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060911102937.htm
American Chemical Society. "Solar Energy: Charged For The Future." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060911102937.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover opened a $800 million engine manufacturing centre in western England, creating 1,400 jobs. Duration: 00:45 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

Buzz60 (Oct. 30, 2014) A start-up company called Krossblade says its SkyCruiser concept flying car solves the problem with most flying car concepts. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Dancing, spinning and fighting robots are showing off their agility at "Robocomp" in Krakow. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins