Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Solar Cell Researcher Explores Nanotech Possibilities: National Science Foundation Grant Aids Quest for Low-Cost, Flexible Solution

A researcher holds a sample of prototyped solar cells. The inset is an electron micrograph of the nanostructures.
A researcher holds a sample of prototyped solar cells. The inset is an electron micrograph of the nanostructures.

Abstract:
A UT Dallas researcher envisions a time soon when plastic sheets of solar cells are inexpensively stamped out in factories and then affixed to cell phones, laptops and other power-hungry mobile devices.

And a new $330,000 grant from the National Science Foundation should help him come closer to realizing that vision.

Solar Cell Researcher Explores Nanotech Possibilities: National Science Foundation Grant Aids Quest for Low-Cost, Flexible Solution

Dallas, TX | Posted on October 5th, 2009

Many researchers are investigating the development of flexible solar cells in hopes of improving efficiency and lowering manufacturing costs, however Walter Hu's novel approach would use nanoimprint lithography to produce precisely nanostructured devices rather than using chemical methods of manufacturing.

Nanoimprinting is an emerging technology that's been used to produce various electronic and optical devices by imprinting the pattern from a mold onto a surface. But Dr. Hu's team is exploring how the thermal imprinting can not only impart a pattern to the solar cell material but also change properties of the material in ways that maximize light absorption, increasing the efficiency of the resulting cells well beyond what anyone has done to date with these so-called organic solar cells.

That requires exploring all of the interrelated properties of the solar cell material's plastic polymer surface (such as crystallinity, molecular orientation, stability and thermal dynamics) and their correlation with geometry, imprint conditions, surface effects and the quantum efficiency of the resulting solar cells.

"Scientifically, we would like to understand - materials-wise, engineering-wise - how we can solve the problem of engineering materials at the nanoscale to improve solar cell performance," said Dr. Hu, an assistant professor of electrical engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas.

Understanding these basic questions is important to developing new methods to improve the power conversion efficiency as well as the stability of next-generation solar cells, he added.

His team is collaborating with J.C. Hummelen at the University of Groningen, Netherlands, who is internationally recognized for the creation of PCBM, a popular nanomaterial for organic solar cells. Dr. Hummelen will customize those materialls to fit the nanoimprint process. Dr. Hu's group also works closely with Anvar Zakhidov, a renowned expert in solar cells at the UT Dallas Nanotech Institute, to study various material systems and device architectures.

Dr. Hu's team is also addressing energy payback, which is the time needed once a solar-cell system is operable to both recover the amount of energy used to manufacture it and offset carbon emissions from that manufacturing.

Conventional silicon-based solar cells are manufacturing-intensive. The energy payback for these systems is two to four years. The organic solar cells his team is developing would have an energy payback that can be measured in a few months.

"The fundamental science of this project is very interesting to us," he said. "Plus it's a great
project for training graduate students to do advanced engineering research."

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
David Moore
UT Dallas
(972) 883-4183


Office of Media Relations
UT Dallas
(972) 883-2155

Copyright © UT Dallas

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Leti Announces Launch of First European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory: Project Combines Expertise of 9 Partners in 8 Countries to Foster Nanomedicine Innovation and Facilitate Regulatory Approval July 1st, 2015

Bruker Introduces Second-Generation Inspire Nanochemical Imaging Solution: Featuring Unique PeakForce IR and IR EasyAlign Technology July 1st, 2015

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Completes Acquisition of IBM Microelectronics Business: Transaction adds differentiating technologies, world-class technologists, and intellectual property July 1st, 2015

Samsung's New Graphene Technology Will Double Life Of Your Lithium-Ion Battery July 1st, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Carnegie Mellon chemists characterize 3-D macroporous hydrogels: Methods will allow researchers to develop new 'smart' materials June 30th, 2015

Graphene flexes its electronic muscles: Rice-led researchers calculate electrical properties of carbon cones, other shapes June 30th, 2015

X-rays and electrons join forces to map catalytic reactions in real-time: New technique combines electron microscopy and synchrotron X-rays to track chemical reactions under real operating conditions June 29th, 2015

Graphene breakthrough as Bosch creates magnetic sensor 100 times more sensitive than silicon equivalent June 28th, 2015

Announcements

Leti Announces Launch of First European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory: Project Combines Expertise of 9 Partners in 8 Countries to Foster Nanomedicine Innovation and Facilitate Regulatory Approval July 1st, 2015

Bruker Introduces Second-Generation Inspire Nanochemical Imaging Solution: Featuring Unique PeakForce IR and IR EasyAlign Technology July 1st, 2015

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Completes Acquisition of IBM Microelectronics Business: Transaction adds differentiating technologies, world-class technologists, and intellectual property July 1st, 2015

Samsung's New Graphene Technology Will Double Life Of Your Lithium-Ion Battery July 1st, 2015

Energy

Visible Light-Sensitive Photocatalysts Used for Purification of Contaminated Water in Iran June 30th, 2015

The Hydrogen-Fuel cell will revolutionize the economy of the world: New non-platinum and nanosized catalyst for polymer electrolyte fuel cell June 29th, 2015

June 29th, 2015

Making new materials with micro-explosions: ANU media release: Scientists have made exotic new materials by creating laser-induced micro-explosions in silicon, the common computer chip material June 29th, 2015

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

World’s 1st Full-Color, Flexible, Skin-Like Display Developed at UCF June 24th, 2015

Physicists fine-tune control of agile exotic materials: Tunable hybrid polaritons realized with graphene layer on hexagonal boron nitride June 24th, 2015

Robust new process forms 3-D shapes from flat sheets of graphene June 23rd, 2015

Lancaster University revolutionary quantum technology research receives funding boost June 22nd, 2015

Solar/Photovoltaic

Making new materials with micro-explosions: ANU media release: Scientists have made exotic new materials by creating laser-induced micro-explosions in silicon, the common computer chip material June 29th, 2015

Spain nanotechnology featured at NANO KOREA 2015 June 26th, 2015

Stanford researchers stretch a thin crystal to get better solar cells June 25th, 2015

Toward tiny, solar-powered sensors: New ultralow-power circuit improves efficiency of energy harvesting to more than 80 percent June 23rd, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project