Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cheap and efficient solar cell made possible by linked nanoparticles

Date:
September 26, 2011
Source:
Delft University of Technology
Summary:
Researchers have demonstrated that electrons can move freely in layers of linked semiconductor nanoparticles under the influence of light. This new knowledge will be very useful for the development of cheap and efficient quantum dot solar cells.

Researchers of the Chemical Engineering department and the Kavli institute of the TU DElft have demonstrated that electrons can move freely in layers of linked semiconductor nanoparticles under the influence of light. This new knowledge will be very useful for the development of cheap and efficient quantum dot solar cells.

The researchers published their findings on September 25 on the website of the scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Cheap and efficient

The current crystalline silicon solar panels are expensive to produce. Cheaper solar cells are available, but these are inefficient. For example, an organic solar cell has a maximum efficiency of 8%. One way of increasing the efficiency of cheap solar cells is the use of semiconductor nanoparticles, quantum dots. In theory, the efficiency of these cells can be increased to 44%. This is in part due to the avalanche effect, demonstrated by researchers from TU Delft and the FOM Foundation in 2008. In the current solar cells, an absorbed light particle can only excite one electron (creating an electron-hole pair), while in a quantum dot solar cell a light particle can excite several electrons. The more electrons that are excited, the greater the efficiency of the solar cell.

Linked nanoparticles

Up to now, the creation of electron-hole pairs under the influence of light was only demonstrated within the limits of a quantum dot. To be usable in solar cells, it is essential that electrons and holes are able to move. This is what creates an electrical current that can be collected at an electrode. Researchers from the same research group have now demonstrated that the electron-hole pairs can also move as free charges between the nanoparticles. To this end they linked nanoparticles together, using very small molecules, so that they were very densely clustered while still remaining separate from each other. The nanoparticles are so close together that every single light particle that is absorbed by the solar cell actually causes electrons to move.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Delft University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Elise Talgorn, Yunan Gao, Michiel Aerts, Lucas T. Kunneman, Juleon M. Schins, T. J. Savenije, Marijn A. van Huis, Herre S. J. van der Zant, Arjan J. Houtepen, Laurens D. A. Siebbeles. Unity quantum yield of photogenerated charges and band-like transport in quantum-dot solids. Nature Nanotechnology, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2011.159

Cite This Page:

Delft University of Technology. "Cheap and efficient solar cell made possible by linked nanoparticles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110926131401.htm>.
Delft University of Technology. (2011, September 26). Cheap and efficient solar cell made possible by linked nanoparticles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110926131401.htm
Delft University of Technology. "Cheap and efficient solar cell made possible by linked nanoparticles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110926131401.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
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