Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Boston College scientists create nanoscale coax solar cell

Boston College researchers report their ‘nanocoax’ technology can support a highly efficient thin film solar cell. This image shows a cross section of an 
array of nanocoax structures, which prove to be thick enough to aborb a sufficient amount of light, yet thin enough to extract current with increased efficiency, the researchers report in the journal Physica Status Solidi.
Boston College researchers report their ‘nanocoax’ technology can support a highly efficient thin film solar cell. This image shows a cross section of an array of nanocoax structures, which prove to be thick enough to aborb a sufficient amount of light, yet thin enough to extract current with increased efficiency, the researchers report in the journal Physica Status Solidi.

Abstract:
Physicists at Boston College have created a nanoscale solar architecture based on the coaxial cable that offers greater efficiency than any previously designed nanotech thin film solar cell, according to their report in the current online edition of the journal Physica Status Solidi.

Boston College scientists create nanoscale coax solar cell

Chestnut Hill, MA | Posted on June 8th, 2010

A nano-scale solar cell inspired by the coaxial cable offers greater efficiency than any previously designed nanotech thin film solar cell by resolving the "thick & thin" challenge inherent to capturing light and extracting current for solar power, Boston College researchers report in the current online edition of the journal Physica Status Solidi.

The quest for high power conversion efficiency in most thin film solar cells has been hampered by competing optical and electronic constraints. A cell must be thick enough to collect a sufficient amount of light, yet it needs to be thin enough to extract current.

Physicists at Boston College found a way to resolve the "thick & thin" challenge through a nanoscale solar architecture based on the coaxial cable, a radio technology concept that dates back to the first trans-Atlantic communications lines laid in the mid 1800s.

"Many groups around the world are working on nanowire-type solar cells, most using crystalline semiconductors," said co-author Michael Naughton, a professor of physics at Boston College. "This nanocoax cell architecture, on the other hand, does not require crystalline materials, and therefore offers promise for lower-cost solar power with ultrathin absorbers. With continued optimization, efficiencies beyond anything achieved in conventional planar architectures may be possible, while using smaller quantities of less costly material."

Optically, the so-called nanocoax stands thick enough to capture light, yet its architecture makes it thin enough to allow a more efficient extraction of current, the researchers report in PSS's Rapid Research Letters. This makes the nanocoax, invented at Boston College in 2005 and patented last year, a new platform for low cost, high efficiency solar power.

Constructed with amorphous silicon, the nanocoax cells yielded power conversion efficiency in excess of 8 percent, which is higher than any nanostructured thin film solar cell to date, the team reported.

The ultra-thin nature of the cells reduces the Staebler-Wronski light-induced degradation effect, a major problem with conventional solar cells of this type, according to the team, which included Boston College Professors of Physics Krzysztof Kempa and Zhifeng Ren, as well as BC students and collaborators from Solasta Inc., of Newton, Mass., and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Institute of Microengineering in Switzerland. The research was funded in part by a Technology Incubator grant from the Department of Energy.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Ed Hayward, Associate Director, Office of News & Public Affairs, at

Copyright © Boston College

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

Cyborg heart could help scientists better understand the human organ August 21st, 2019

Research brief: A novel cellular process to engulf nano-sized materials August 20th, 2019

A first for cancer research’: New approach to study tumors August 20th, 2019

Stanford builds a heat shield just 10 atoms thick to protect electronic devices: Atomically thin heat shields could be up to 50,000 times thinner than current insulating materials in cell phones and laptops August 19th, 2019

Possible Futures

Cyborg heart could help scientists better understand the human organ August 21st, 2019

Research brief: A novel cellular process to engulf nano-sized materials August 20th, 2019

A first for cancer research’: New approach to study tumors August 20th, 2019

Stanford builds a heat shield just 10 atoms thick to protect electronic devices: Atomically thin heat shields could be up to 50,000 times thinner than current insulating materials in cell phones and laptops August 19th, 2019

Announcements

Cyborg heart could help scientists better understand the human organ August 21st, 2019

Research brief: A novel cellular process to engulf nano-sized materials August 20th, 2019

A first for cancer research’: New approach to study tumors August 20th, 2019

Stanford builds a heat shield just 10 atoms thick to protect electronic devices: Atomically thin heat shields could be up to 50,000 times thinner than current insulating materials in cell phones and laptops August 19th, 2019

Energy

New synthesis method opens up possibilities for organic electronics August 7th, 2019

Physicists make graphene discovery that could help develop superconductors: Rutgers-led research could reduce energy use, improve electronic devices August 1st, 2019

Breakthrough material could lead to cheaper, more widespread solar panels and electronics July 16th, 2019

Experiments show dramatic increase in solar cell output: Method for collecting two electrons from each photon could break through theoretical solar-cell efficiency limit July 5th, 2019

Solar/Photovoltaic

New synthesis method opens up possibilities for organic electronics August 7th, 2019

Breakthrough material could lead to cheaper, more widespread solar panels and electronics July 16th, 2019

Experiments show dramatic increase in solar cell output: Method for collecting two electrons from each photon could break through theoretical solar-cell efficiency limit July 5th, 2019

Black (nano)gold combat climate change July 5th, 2019

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project