Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Record-breaking solar cell announced by multinational research team

Left: Quantum dots capped with organic ligands. Bulky organic molecules (yellow and blue) has led to lower performance. Right: Quantum dots capped with the novel inorganic ligands reported in the work. Reduce bulk helped get electrons out, leading to record performance.
Left: Quantum dots capped with organic ligands. Bulky organic molecules (yellow and blue) has led to lower performance. Right: Quantum dots capped with the novel inorganic ligands reported in the work. Reduce bulk helped get electrons out, leading to record performance.
Left: Quantum dots capped with organic ligands. Bulky organic molecules (yellow and blue) has led to lower performance. Right: Quantum dots capped with the novel inorganic ligands reported in the work. Reduce bulk helped get electrons out, leading to record performance. Left: Quantum dots capped with organic ligands. Bulky organic molecules (yellow and blue) has led to lower performance. Right: Quantum dots capped with the novel inorganic ligands reported in the work. Reduce bulk helped get electrons out, leading to record performance.

Abstract:
The most efficient colloidal-quantum-dot solar cell ever created will be described in a scientific paper to be published in a print edition of the journal Nature Materials by a team of scientists that includes John Asbury, assistant professor of chemistry at Penn State. Other members of the research team are at the University of Toronto (U of T) in Canada and the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia.

Record-breaking solar cell announced by multinational research team

University Park, PA | Posted on September 22nd, 2011

"We figured out how to shrink the wrappers that encapsulate quantum dots down to the smallest imaginable size -- a mere layer of atoms," said Professor Ted Sargent at U of T, the corresponding author on the work and the holder of the Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology. Quantum dots are nanoscale semiconductors that capture light and convert it into electrical energy. Because of their small size, the dots can be sprayed onto flexible surfaces, including plastics, enabling the production of solar cells that are less expensive than the existing silicon-based version.

But a crucial challenge for the field has been improving their efficiency. The ideal design for greatest efficiency is one that tightly packs the quantum dots together. Until now, quantum dots have been capped with organic molecules that separate the nanoparticles by a nanometer -- making them too bulky for optimum efficiency. To solve the problem, the research team turned to inorganic ligands, sub-nanometer-sized atoms that bind to the quantum dot surfaces and take up less space.

"The inorganic ligands form the smallest possible shell that can be wrapped around quantum dots," Asbury explains. "It is the thinness of the shell that allows the quantum dots to pack so closely that electrons can flow smoothly through the material to make photocurrent."

The colloidal quantum dots examined by Asbury and his team members yielded the highest electrical currents, and the highest overall power-conversion efficiency, ever seen in colloidal quantum dot (CQD) solar cells. These performance results were certified by an external laboratory, Newport, that is accredited by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

"Extensive testing has confirmed that we were able to remove charge traps -- locations where electrons get stuck -- while still packing the quantum dots closely together," Asbury said. The combination of close packing and charge-trap elimination enabled unprecedented levels of photocurrent to flow through the solar cells, thus providing record efficiency.

A technology licensing agreement has been signed by U of T and KAUST, brokered by MaRS Innovations (MI), which will enable the global commercialization of this new technology. "Through U of T's, MI's, and KAUST's partnership, we are poised to translate exciting research into tangible innovations that can be commercialized," said Sargent. "The world -- and the marketplace -- need solar innovations that break the existing compromise between performance and cost.

This research was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, the Petroleum Research Fund, the National Science Foundation, and the U. S. Office of Naval Research.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Barbara Kennedy
814-863-4682


John Asburyh
814-863-6309

Copyright © Penn State

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

ANU invention to inspire new night-vision specs December 7th, 2016

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2016 Year End Results December 7th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI), newest edition out December 7th, 2016

In IEDM 2016 Keynote, Leti CEO Says ‘Hyperconnectivity’, Human-focused Research and the IOT Promise Profound, Positive Changes December 7th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Physicists decipher electronic properties of materials in work that may change transistors December 6th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Discoveries

ANU invention to inspire new night-vision specs December 7th, 2016

Leti IEDM 2016 Paper Clarifies Correlation between Endurance, Window Margin and Retention in RRAM for First Time: Paper Presented at IEDM 2016 Offers Ways to Reconcile High-cycling Requirements and Instability at High Temperatures in Resistive RAM December 6th, 2016

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: 3D solutions to energy savings in silicon power transistors December 6th, 2016

Physicists decipher electronic properties of materials in work that may change transistors December 6th, 2016

Announcements

ANU invention to inspire new night-vision specs December 7th, 2016

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2016 Year End Results December 7th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI), newest edition out December 7th, 2016

In IEDM 2016 Keynote, Leti CEO Says ‘Hyperconnectivity’, Human-focused Research and the IOT Promise Profound, Positive Changes December 7th, 2016

Military

ANU invention to inspire new night-vision specs December 7th, 2016

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

Quantum obstacle course changes material from superconductor to insulator December 1st, 2016

New method for analyzing crystal structure: Exotic materials called photonic crystals reveal their internal characteristics with new method November 30th, 2016

Energy

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells December 1st, 2016

Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells: Researchers combine quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient, green solar cells November 30th, 2016

Quantum Dots/Rods

Trickling electrons: Close to absolute zero, the particles exhibit their quantum nature November 10th, 2016

Notre Dame researchers find transition point in semiconductor nanomaterials September 6th, 2016

Quantum dots with impermeable shell: A powerful tool for nanoengineering August 12th, 2016

Diamond-based light sources will lay a foundation for quantum communications of the future: Electrified quantum diamond can become the heart of quantum networks and computers of the future August 7th, 2016

Research partnerships

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Quantum obstacle course changes material from superconductor to insulator December 1st, 2016

Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics November 28th, 2016

Single photon converter -- a key component of quantum internet November 28th, 2016

Solar/Photovoltaic

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells December 1st, 2016

Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells: Researchers combine quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient, green solar cells November 30th, 2016

'Back to the Future' inspires solar nanotech-powered clothing November 15th, 2016

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