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Home > News > Unique nanotube composites constructed for organic solar cells

February 16th, 2008

Unique nanotube composites constructed for organic solar cells

Abstract:
Harvesting energy directly from the abundant resource of solar radiation through the use of solar cells is increasingly becoming a major component of future global energy production. Other renewable energy sources, like wind and hydroelectric power, can require large scale infrastructure. Solar energy, on the other hand, only needs solar cells and sunshine. Technologically feasible solutions are available today for solar electricity generation. They are predominantly based on the use of silicon conversion cells. The most efficient cells, however, use relatively expensive high-quality single-crystal or amorphous silicon wafers. Unless there are major breakthroughs, current silicon-based thin-film technologies may be reaching their limit in terms of their ratio of cost to efficiency.

Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) are made of polymers and have the advantage that they can be painted on a surface, such as on the outside walls of a building or on rooftops. Accordingly, there is a great deal of interest in putting them to use in large-scale applications. Compared with existing technologies, OPVs promise moderate power conversion efficiencies. By the same token, they have the very attractive feature that they can be made by highly scalable, high-speed coating and printing processes such as spray painting and inkjet printing to cover large areas on flexible plastic substrates. They provide a low-cost alternative for the future.

Source:
spie.org

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