Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Prof researching better solar panels

(Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
(Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Abstract:
Nanotechnology could make solar energy a cheap, sustainable option

By Lance Mudryk

Prof researching better solar panels

Alberta, Canada | Posted on May 15th, 2010

With his $20,000 research grant, Karthik Shankar intends to develop a more efficient, cheaper solar panel using nanotechnology.

The University of Alberta engineering professor's research is largely based on the increased functionality of solar cells. By implementing nanotechnology into semiconductors — materials used to convert sunlight into electricity — his solar panels will be able to harvest light more intensely and access a wider spectrum of the light given off by the sun.

"A solar cell works by harvesting light and converting it into electricity," Shankar explained. "(We're) using metal nanoparticles which have these so-called plasmonic properties."

According to Shankar, these plasmonic properties make the electromagnetic field of a structure much stronger. This will help the solar cells convert more electricity out of the light they're exposed to.

"When we simulated them, we saw that these nanoparticles have a certain resonance, and at that resonance they really amplify the electromagnetic fields around those particles," he said.

Shankar believes that his proposal could possibly help solar technology take off, largely due to its economic feasibility. By using organic materials, metals, and a semiconductor known as titanium dioxide, costs could be dramatically lowered.

"(What we're proposing is) potentially a lot cheaper than what's out there," he said. "One of the problems that's preventing the eruption of solar technology is that the solar cells, which are made from American silicon, are very expensive. And so they're still not a viable competitor to fossil fuels."

Even though Shankar has been developing this proposal for a year now, he still believes that his idea could take five to 10 years before it will be commercially viable.

"The first objective is to translate these ideas, perform experiments, and actually realize the idea. Later on, if the idea is successful, we'll probably try to commercialize it in a spin-off company or license the intellectual property to a bigger company if they're interested."

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © University of Alberta

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

Single-atom gold catalysts may offer path to low-cost production of fuel and chemicals November 28th, 2014

Production of Anticancer Drug from Nanofibers in Iran November 28th, 2014

Australian startup creates world’s first 100% cotton hydrophobic T-Shirts November 26th, 2014

The mysterious 'action at a distance' between liquid containers November 26th, 2014

Academic/Education

SUNY Poly Student Awarded Fellowship with the U.S. Department of Energy's Postgraduate Research Program: Ph.D. Candidate Accepts Postmaster's Appointment To Conduct Research At Albany NanoTech Complex November 13th, 2014

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Hosts Massive Crowd of More Than 3,000 People Who Attended Community Day Activities Across New York State: CNSE’s ‘NANOvember’ kickoff event highlights New York State’s growing high-tech sector with open house events in Albany, Utica, and Rochester November 3rd, 2014

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Invites the Public to Attend its Popular Statewide 'NANOvember' Series of Outreach and Educational Events October 23rd, 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

Announcements

Single-atom gold catalysts may offer path to low-cost production of fuel and chemicals November 28th, 2014

Production of Anticancer Drug from Nanofibers in Iran November 28th, 2014

Australian startup creates world’s first 100% cotton hydrophobic T-Shirts November 26th, 2014

The mysterious 'action at a distance' between liquid containers November 26th, 2014

Energy

Single-atom gold catalysts may offer path to low-cost production of fuel and chemicals November 28th, 2014

Lawrence Livermore researchers develop efficient method to produce nanoporous metals November 25th, 2014

Research yields material made of single-atom layers that snap together like Legos November 25th, 2014

Blu-ray disc can be used to improve solar cell performance: Data storage pattern transferred to solar cell increases light absorption November 25th, 2014

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

Renishaw receives Queen's Award for spectroscopy developments November 25th, 2014

A*STAR SIMTech wins international award for breaking new ground in actuators: SIMTech invention can be used in an array of industries, and is critical for next generation ultra-precision systems November 24th, 2014

SUNY Poly Student Awarded Fellowship with the U.S. Department of Energy's Postgraduate Research Program: Ph.D. Candidate Accepts Postmaster's Appointment To Conduct Research At Albany NanoTech Complex November 13th, 2014

MEMS Industry Group's 10th Annual Executive Conference Showcases Rapid Innovation in MEMS/Sensors: Emphasizes Spirit of Collaboration, Supporting First Open-Source Algorithm Community, New Standardization Efforts November 10th, 2014

Solar/Photovoltaic

Research yields material made of single-atom layers that snap together like Legos November 25th, 2014

Blu-ray disc can be used to improve solar cell performance: Data storage pattern transferred to solar cell increases light absorption November 25th, 2014

UO-industry collaboration points to improved nanomaterials: University of Oregon microscope puts spotlight on the surface structure of quantum dots for designing new solar devices November 20th, 2014

Eight19 secures £1m funding: Investment to develop production technology, and expand commercial activities for organic photovoltaics November 19th, 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