Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Printable nanotech solar cells developed: Australian researchers have invented nanotech solar cells that are thin, flexible and use one hundredth the materials of conventional solar cells

Abstract:
Printable, flexible solar cells that could dramatically decrease the cost of renewable energy have been developed by University of Melbourne PhD student Brandon MacDonald in collaboration with his colleagues from University of Melbourne's Bio21 Institute and the CSIRO's Future Manufacturing Flagship.

Printable nanotech solar cells developed: Australian researchers have invented nanotech solar cells that are thin, flexible and use one hundredth the materials of conventional solar cells

Melbourne, Australia | Posted on July 1st, 2011

Their patented technology is based on inks containing tiny, semiconducting nanocrystals, which can be printed directly onto a variety of surfaces.

By choosing the right combination of ink and surface it is possible to make efficient solar cells using very little material or energy. The solar cells can be used much like current solar panels to provide power to things like lighting on bus shelters.

"The problem with traditional solar cells," Brandon says, "is that making them requires many complex and energy intensive steps."

"Using nanocrystal inks, they can be manufactured in a continuous manner, which increases production rate and should make the cells much cheaper to produce."

Nanocrystals, also known as quantum dots, are semiconducting particles with a diameter of a few millionths of a millimetre. Because of their extremely small size they can remain suspended in a solution.

This solution can then be deposited onto a variety of materials, including flexible plastics or metal foils. It is then dried to form a thin film. Brandon and his colleagues discovered that by depositing multiple layers of nanocrystals they can fill in any defects formed during the drying process.

The result is a densely packed, uniform film, ideal for lightweight solar cells.

The nanocrystals consist of a semiconducting material called cadmium telluride, which is a very strong absorber of light. This means that the resulting cells can be made very thin.

"The total amount of material used in these cells is about 1 per cent of what you would use for a typical silicon solar cell. Even compared to other types of cadmium telluride cells ours are much thinner, using approximately one-tenth as much material," Brandon says.

The technology is not limited to solar cells. It can also be used to make printable versions of other electronic devices, such as light emitting diodes, lasers or transistors.

For his work Brandon has received the 2010/11 DuPont Young Innovator's Award and has had his work published in the journal Nano Letters.

####

About University of Melbourne
Established in 1853, the University of Melbourne is a public-spirited institution that makes distinctive contributions to society in research, teaching and engagement.

Melbourne's teaching excellence has been rewarded two years in a row by grants from the Commonwealth Government's Learning and Teaching Performance Fund for Australian universities that demonstrate excellence in undergraduate teaching and learning.

Melbourne was also one of only three Australian universities to win ten citations-the maximum number of awards possible-under the Carrick Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. The citations recognise commitment by university staff who have shown outstanding leadership and innovation in teaching, and dedication and enthusiasm for student learning.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Charlotte Crawford
University of Melbourne Media Unit
0419 789 432

Copyright © University of Melbourne

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

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Quantum manipulation power for quantum information processing gets a boost: Improving the efficiency of quantum heat engines involves reducing the number of photons in a cavity, ultimately impacting quantum manipulation power October 14th, 2017

Injecting electrons jolts 2-D structure into new atomic pattern: Berkeley Lab study is first to show potential of energy-efficient next-gen electronic memory October 13th, 2017

The secret to improving liquid crystal's mechanical performance: Better lubricating properties of lamellar liquid crystals could stem from changing the mobility of their structural dislocations by adding nanoparticles October 13th, 2017

Discoveries

Rice U. study: Vibrating nanoparticles interact: Placing nanodisks in groups can change their vibrational frequencies October 16th, 2017

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Injecting electrons jolts 2-D structure into new atomic pattern: Berkeley Lab study is first to show potential of energy-efficient next-gen electronic memory October 13th, 2017

The secret to improving liquid crystal's mechanical performance: Better lubricating properties of lamellar liquid crystals could stem from changing the mobility of their structural dislocations by adding nanoparticles October 13th, 2017

Announcements

Rice U. study: Vibrating nanoparticles interact: Placing nanodisks in groups can change their vibrational frequencies October 16th, 2017

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Quantum manipulation power for quantum information processing gets a boost: Improving the efficiency of quantum heat engines involves reducing the number of photons in a cavity, ultimately impacting quantum manipulation power October 14th, 2017

The secret to improving liquid crystal's mechanical performance: Better lubricating properties of lamellar liquid crystals could stem from changing the mobility of their structural dislocations by adding nanoparticles October 13th, 2017

Patents/IP/Tech Transfer/Licensing

Nanoparticles limit damage in spinal cord injury: Injection after an injury reduces inflammation and scarring September 6th, 2017

More durable, less expensive fuel cells: University of Delaware researchers have developed a new technology that could speed up the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles September 5th, 2017

Argonne National Laboratory’s Continuous ALD Technology Licensed Exclusively to Forge Nano July 7th, 2017

Aculon Expands NanoProof® Product Line for Electronics Waterproofing Technology: With growing market opportunities Aculon Launches NanoProof® 8 with Push Through Connectivity™ and NanoProof® DAB a syringe application May 30th, 2017

Energy

New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater: Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions October 4th, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

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

Rice U. study: Vibrating nanoparticles interact: Placing nanodisks in groups can change their vibrational frequencies October 16th, 2017

On the road to fire-free, lithium-ion batteries made with asphalt October 12th, 2017

Single ‘solitons’ promising for optical technologies October 9th, 2017

'CRISPR-Gold' fixes Duchenne muscular dystrophy mutation in mice October 3rd, 2017

Solar/Photovoltaic

New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater: Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions October 4th, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

Printing/Lithography/Inkjet/Inks/Bio-printing

Graphene based terahertz absorbers: Printable graphene inks enable ultrafast lasers in the terahertz range September 13th, 2017

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Simultaneous Design and Nanomanufacturing Speeds Up Fabrication: Method enhances broadband light absorption in solar cells August 5th, 2017

Meniscus-assisted technique produces high efficiency perovskite PV films July 7th, 2017

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