Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physicists set new record for graphene solar cell efficiency

Date:
May 24, 2012
Source:
University of Florida
Summary:
Doping may be a no-no for athletes, but researchers say it was key in getting unprecedented power conversion efficiency from a new graphene solar cell created in their lab.

Doping may be a no-no for athletes, but researchers in the University of Florida's physics department say it was key in getting unprecedented power conversion efficiency from a new graphene solar cell.
Credit: rangizzz / Fotolia

Doping may be a no-no for athletes, but researchers in the University of Florida's physics department say it was key in getting unprecedented power conversion efficiency from a new graphene solar cell created in their lab.

Related Articles


Graphene solar cells are one of industry's great hopes for cheaper, durable solar power cells in the future. But previous attempts to use graphene, a single-atom-thick honeycomb lattice of carbon atoms, in solar cells have only managed power conversion efficiencies ranging up to 2.9 percent. The UF team was able to achieve a record breaking 8.6 percent efficiency with their device by chemically treating, or doping, the graphene with trifluoromethanesulfonyl-amide, or TFSA. Their results are published in the current online edition of Nano Letters.

"The dopant makes the graphene film more conductive and increases the electric field potential inside the cell," said Xiaochang Miao, a graduate student in the physics department. That makes it more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. And unlike other dopants that have been tried in the past, TFSA is stable -- its effects are long lasting.

The solar cell that Miao and her co-workers created in the lab looks like a 5-mm-square window framed in gold. The window, a wafer of silicon coated with a monolayer of graphene, is where the magic happens.

Graphene and silicon, when they come together, form what is called a Schottky junction -- a one-way street for electrons that when illuminated with light, acts as the power conversion zone for an entire class of solar cells. Schottky junctions are commonly formed by layering a metal on top of a semiconductor. But researchers at the UF Nanoscience Institute for Medical and Engineering Technologies discovered in 2011 that graphene, a semi-metal, made a suitable substitute for metal in creating the junction.

"Graphene, unlike conventional metals, is transparent and flexible, so it has great potential to be an important component in the kind of solar cells we hope to see incorporated into building exteriors and other materials in the future," said Arthur Hebard, distinguished professor of physics at UF and co-author on the paper. "Showing that its power-converting capabilities can be enhanced by such a simple, inexpensive treatment bodes well for its future."

The researchers said that if graphene solar cells reach 10 percent power conversion efficiency they could be a contender in the market place, if production costs are kept low enough.

The prototype solar cell created in the UF lab was built on a rigid base of silicon, which is not considered an economical material for mass production. But Hebard said that he sees real possibilities for combining the use of doped graphene with less expensive, more flexible substrates like the polymer sheets currently under development in research laboratories around the world.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Florida. The original article was written by Donna Hesterman. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xiaochang Miao, Sefaattin Tongay, Maureen K. Petterson, Kara Berke, Andrew G. Rinzler, Bill R. Appleton, Arthur F. Hebard. High Efficiency Graphene Solar Cells by Chemical Doping. Nano Letters, 2012; 120510124852005 DOI: 10.1021/nl204414u

Cite This Page:

University of Florida. "Physicists set new record for graphene solar cell efficiency." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120524134613.htm>.
University of Florida. (2012, May 24). Physicists set new record for graphene solar cell efficiency. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120524134613.htm
University of Florida. "Physicists set new record for graphene solar cell efficiency." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120524134613.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) A tech company in Spain have combined technology with cuisine to develop the 'Foodini', a 3D printer designed to print the perfect cookie for Santa. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Etihad Superjumbo Flight in December

First Etihad Superjumbo Flight in December

AFP (Dec. 18, 2014) The first flight of Etihad Airways' long-awaited Airbus A380 superjumbo will take place later in December, the Abu Dhabi carrier said Thursday, also announcing its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner route. Duration: 01:09 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ford Expands Air Bag Recall Nationwide

Ford Expands Air Bag Recall Nationwide

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The automaker added 447,000 vehicles to its recall list, bringing the total to more than 502,000. Video provided by Newsy
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