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

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale January 20th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Discoveries

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale January 20th, 2017

Announcements

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale January 20th, 2017

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

Military

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Energy

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Stability challenge in perovskite solar cell technology: New research reveals intrinsic instability issues of iodine-containing perovskite solar cells December 26th, 2016

Nanoscale 'conversations' create complex, multi-layered structures: New technique leverages controlled interactions across surfaces to create self-assembled materials with unprecedented complexity December 22nd, 2016

Quantum Dots/Rods

Carbon dots dash toward 'green' recycling role: Rice scientists, colleagues use doped graphene quantum dots to reduce carbon dioxide to fuel December 18th, 2016

Two electrons go on a quantum walk and end up in a qudit: Russian scientists find a way to reliably connect quantum elements December 13th, 2016

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

Research partnerships

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

Chemistry on the edge: Experiments at Berkeley Lab confirm that structural defects at the periphery are key in catalyst function January 13th, 2017

Recreating conditions inside stars with compact lasers: Scientists offer a new path to creating the extreme conditions found in stars, using ultra-short laser pulses irradiating nanowires January 12th, 2017

Zeroing in on the true nature of fluids within nanocapillaries: While exploring the behavior of fluids at the nanoscale, a group of researchers at the French National Center for Scientific Research discovered a peculiar state of fluid mixtures contained in microscopic channels January 11th, 2017

Solar/Photovoltaic

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Stability challenge in perovskite solar cell technology: New research reveals intrinsic instability issues of iodine-containing perovskite solar cells December 26th, 2016

Going green with nanotechnology December 21st, 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