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

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half February 24th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

Atomic force imaging used to study nematodes: KFU bionanotechnology lab (head - Dr. Rawil Fakhrullin) has obtained 3-D images of nematodes' cuticles February 23rd, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

Atomic force imaging used to study nematodes: KFU bionanotechnology lab (head - Dr. Rawil Fakhrullin) has obtained 3-D images of nematodes' cuticles February 23rd, 2017

Molecular phenomenon discovered by advanced NMR facility: Cutting edge technology has shown a molecule self-assembling into different forms when passing between solution state to solid state, and back again - a curious phenomenon in science - says research by the University of Wa February 22nd, 2017

Discoveries

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half February 24th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

Atomic force imaging used to study nematodes: KFU bionanotechnology lab (head - Dr. Rawil Fakhrullin) has obtained 3-D images of nematodes' cuticles February 23rd, 2017

Announcements

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half February 24th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

Atomic force imaging used to study nematodes: KFU bionanotechnology lab (head - Dr. Rawil Fakhrullin) has obtained 3-D images of nematodes' cuticles February 23rd, 2017

Military

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices February 20th, 2017

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

Graphene foam gets big and tough: Rice University's nanotube-reinforced material can be shaped, is highly conductive February 13th, 2017

Meta-lenses bring benchtop performance to small, hand-held spectrometer: Game-changing nanostructure-based lenses allow smaller devices, increased functionality February 9th, 2017

Energy

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

Strem Chemicals and Dotz Nano Ltd. Sign Distribution Agreement for Graphene Quantum Dots Collaboration February 21st, 2017

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices February 20th, 2017

In-cell molecular sieve from protein crystal February 14th, 2017

Quantum Dots/Rods

Particle Works creates range of high performance quantum dots February 23rd, 2017

Strem Chemicals and Dotz Nano Ltd. Sign Distribution Agreement for Graphene Quantum Dots Collaboration February 21st, 2017

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

Research partnerships

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

Molecular phenomenon discovered by advanced NMR facility: Cutting edge technology has shown a molecule self-assembling into different forms when passing between solution state to solid state, and back again - a curious phenomenon in science - says research by the University of Wa February 22nd, 2017

Graphene foam gets big and tough: Rice University's nanotube-reinforced material can be shaped, is highly conductive February 13th, 2017

Cedars-Sinai, UCLA Scientists Use New ‘Blood Biopsies’ With Experimental Device to Speed Cancer Diagnosis and Predict Disease Spread: Leading-Edge Research Is Part of National Cancer Moonshot Initiative February 13th, 2017

Solar/Photovoltaic

Strem Chemicals and Dotz Nano Ltd. Sign Distribution Agreement for Graphene Quantum Dots Collaboration February 21st, 2017

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices February 20th, 2017

Material can turn sunlight, heat and movement into electricity -- all at once: Extracting energy from multiple sources could help power wearable technology February 9th, 2017

NREL research pinpoints promise of polycrystalline perovskites February 8th, 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