Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New inexpensive solar cell design

Date:
August 4, 2010
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
One of the most promising technologies for making inexpensive but reasonably efficient photovoltaic cells just got much cheaper. Scientists in Canada have shown that inexpensive nickel can work just as well as gold for one of the critical electrical contacts that gather the electrical current produced by colloidal quantum dot solar cells.

One of the most promising technologies for making inexpensive but reasonably efficient solar photovoltaic cells just got much cheaper. Scientists at the University of Toronto in Canada have shown that inexpensive nickel can work just as well as gold for one of the critical electrical contacts that gather the electrical current produced by their colloidal quantum dot solar cells.

The change to nickel can reduce the cell's already low material costs by 40 to 80 percent, says Lukasz Brzozowski, the director of the Photovoltaics Research Program in Professor Ted Sargent's group. They present their research in the July 12, 2010 issue of Applied Physics Letters, which is published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP).

Quantum dots are nanoscale bits of a semiconductor material that are created using low-cost, high-throughput chemical reactions in liquid solutions. Since their properties vary according to their size, quantum dots can be made to match the illumination spectrum. Half of all sunlight, for example, is in the infrared wavelengths, most of which cannot be collected by silicon-based solar cells. Sargent's group has pioneered the design and development of quantum dot solar cells that gather both visible and infrared light. They have reached a power-conversion efficiency as high as 5 percent and aim to improve that to 10 percent before commercialization.

At first, nickel did not appear to do the job. "It was intermixing with our quantum dots, forming a compound that blocked the current flow from the device," says Dr. Ratan Debnath, first author on the group's paper. Adding just one nanometer of lithium fluoride between the nickel and the dots created a barrier that stopped the contamination, and the cell's efficiency jumped back up to the expected level.

This is the latest of several recent solar-cell milestones by the Canadian researchers. "We have been able to increase dramatically the efficiency of our photovoltaics over the last several years and continue to hold the performance world records," Professor Sargent said.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Ratan Debnath, Mark Theodore Greiner, Illan Kramer, Armin Fischer, Jiang Tang, Aaron Barkhouse, Xihua Wang, Larissa Levina, Z. H. Lu and Edward H. Sargent. Depleted-heterojunction colloidal quantum dot photovoltaics employing low-cost electrical contacts. Applied Physics Letters, 2010; 97 (2): 023109 DOI: 10.1063/1.3463037

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "New inexpensive solar cell design." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100803175013.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2010, August 4). New inexpensive solar cell design. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100803175013.htm
American Institute of Physics. "New inexpensive solar cell design." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100803175013.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nike fired most of its Digital Sport hardware team, the group behind Nike's FuelBand device. Could Apple or an overcrowded market be behind layoffs? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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