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May 4th, 2005
Energy start-ups bank on nanotechnology
Existing technologies for producing solar cells remain too costly to enable widespread adoption of photovoltaic modules. But a new clutch of start-ups are starting to commercialize nanostructured solar cells that promise to deliver high efficiencies at much lower prices.
For example, GreatCell of Switzerland, a spin-off from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, now offers small-scale production of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) in collaboration with STI of Australia. The active components in these cells are nanoparticles of titanium oxide - a semiconductor with a large bandgap of 3-3.2 eV - formed into a thin layer on a glass substrate.
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