Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

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

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes: University of Oregon chemists provide a detailed view of traps that disrupt energy flow, possibly pointing toward improved charge-carrying devices October 21st, 2014

Super stable garnet ceramics may be ideal for high-energy lithium batteries October 21st, 2014

Could I squeeze by you? Ames Laboratory scientists model molecular movement within narrow channels of mesoporous nanoparticles October 21st, 2014

Detecting Cancer Earlier is Goal of Rutgers-Developed Medical Imaging Technology: Rare earth nanocrystals and infrared light can reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions October 21st, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes: University of Oregon chemists provide a detailed view of traps that disrupt energy flow, possibly pointing toward improved charge-carrying devices October 21st, 2014

Super stable garnet ceramics may be ideal for high-energy lithium batteries October 21st, 2014

Could I squeeze by you? Ames Laboratory scientists model molecular movement within narrow channels of mesoporous nanoparticles October 21st, 2014

Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream: Scientists have designed the first large DNA crystals with precisely prescribed depths and complex 3D features, which could create revolutionary nanodevices October 20th, 2014

Announcements

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes: University of Oregon chemists provide a detailed view of traps that disrupt energy flow, possibly pointing toward improved charge-carrying devices October 21st, 2014

Super stable garnet ceramics may be ideal for high-energy lithium batteries October 21st, 2014

Could I squeeze by you? Ames Laboratory scientists model molecular movement within narrow channels of mesoporous nanoparticles October 21st, 2014

Detecting Cancer Earlier is Goal of Rutgers-Developed Medical Imaging Technology: Rare earth nanocrystals and infrared light can reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions October 21st, 2014

Energy

Could I squeeze by you? Ames Laboratory scientists model molecular movement within narrow channels of mesoporous nanoparticles October 21st, 2014

First Canada Excellence Research Chair gets $10 million from the federal government for oilsands research at the University of Calgary: Federal government announces prestigious research chair to study improving oil production efficiency October 19th, 2014

Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways October 16th, 2014

Unique catalysts for hydrogen fuel cells synthesized in ordinary kitchen microwave oven October 14th, 2014

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

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes: University of Oregon chemists provide a detailed view of traps that disrupt energy flow, possibly pointing toward improved charge-carrying devices October 21st, 2014

Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream: Scientists have designed the first large DNA crystals with precisely prescribed depths and complex 3D features, which could create revolutionary nanodevices October 20th, 2014

QD Vision Wins Prestigious Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency October 16th, 2014

Beyond LEDs: Brighter, new energy-saving flat panel lights based on carbon nanotubes - Planar light source using a phosphor screen with highly crystalline single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) as field emitters demonstrates its potential for energy-efficient lighting device October 14th, 2014

Solar/Photovoltaic

Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways October 16th, 2014

Dyesol Signs Letter of Intent with Tata Steel October 13th, 2014

DNA nano-foundries cast custom-shaped metal nanoparticles: DNA's programmable assembly is leveraged to form precise 3D nanomaterials for disease detection, environmental testing, electronics and beyond October 10th, 2014

Over 100 European experts meet in Barcelona thanks to a COST Action coordinated from ICN2: The ISOS-7 Summit discusses the future of organic photovoltaic devices October 7th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE