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February 27th, 2007
The research team are aiming to build demonstration hybrid solar cells that have the long-term potential to be mass-produced and to achieve an energy conversion efficiency approaching ten per cent.
The cells will be made from both organic polymeric carbon-based materials and small particles of inorganic semiconductors. Most designs are expected to draw on nanotechnology, with researchers planning to use so-called PbS nanorods - small cylinders of lead sulphide that are around 100 times smaller than a human hair. Academics will also use semiconductor quantum dots - extremely small particles measuring around one ten-millionth of an inch - to absorb light.
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