Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > UIC Chemist Explores Nanotechnology in Search of Cheaper Solar Cells

Abstract:
Luke Hanley is a big believer in harnessing solar energy to produce electricity. Doing it more efficiently is his goal.

"If you could make solar cells cheaper and more efficient, then you could think about putting them on a much wider variety of surfaces," said Hanley, professor and head of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

UIC Chemist Explores Nanotechnology in Search of Cheaper Solar Cells

Chicago, IL | Posted on June 20th, 2012

"There's only a certain amount of energy that falls from the sun per square meter. You can't increase that amount of energy, but you can make it less expensive to capture it," he said.

Hanley received a $390,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to test methods of coating solar panel films using nanoparticles from a chemical group called metal chalcogenides. The inexpensive films could be wrapped over everything from vehicles to buildings to gain maximum sunshine exposure and produce electricity.

Chalcogenides are fairly abundant, relatively cheap, and don't contain toxic elements like cadmium or tellurium, which are often used in solar cells.

"Using less expensive, less toxic materials -- and using processes where you could coat inexpensively and not use much of the material -- could make these solar cells more viable," Hanley said.

Working with Igor Bolotin, research assistant professor of chemistry, and graduate students Mike Majeski and Doug Pleticha, Hanley developed a method for depositing metal chalcogenide nanoparticles by cluster beam deposition. The process uses a magnetically confined electrical discharge of argon gas ions to knock metal atoms into the gas phase and react with hydrogen sulfide or hydrogen selenide. The metal-sulfide or metal-selenide then condenses into nano-sized clusters that land on a surface to produce the film.

"If you can do everything from the gaseous deposition stage, you might make the process less expensive," Hanley said. "You also may make a novel material that has a better efficiency."

Hanley and his coworkers will evaluate the electrical properties of these new films and study how they respond to light. He thinks that using different chemicals for nanoparticle-embedded solar films could create new products some two to three times more efficient than products now on the market, making solar energy more competitive.

But Hanley noted there are other factors to consider besides price.

"Fossil fuels will always have an associated environmental cost," he said, while the sun does not.

"So, there's a great long-term interest in solar energy."

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Paul Francuch

(312) 996-3457

Copyright © Newswise

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

Iran to Hold 3rd Int'l Engineering Materials, Metallurgy Conference October 25th, 2014

Haydale Secures Exclusive Development and Supply Agreement with Tantec A/S: New reactors to be built and commissioned by Tantec A/S represent another step forward towards the commercialisation of graphene October 24th, 2014

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Invites the Public to Attend its Popular Statewide 'NANOvember' Series of Outreach and Educational Events October 23rd, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

Thin films

Advancing thin film research with nanostructured AZO: Innovnano’s unique and cost-effective AZO sputtering targets for the production of transparent conducting oxides October 23rd, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

NIST offers electronics industry 2 ways to snoop on self-organizing molecules October 22nd, 2014

Discoveries

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

Iranian, Malaysian Scientists Study Nanophotocatalysts for Water Purification October 23rd, 2014

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas October 23rd, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

Announcements

Iran to Hold 3rd Int'l Engineering Materials, Metallurgy Conference October 25th, 2014

Haydale Secures Exclusive Development and Supply Agreement with Tantec A/S: New reactors to be built and commissioned by Tantec A/S represent another step forward towards the commercialisation of graphene October 24th, 2014

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

Energy

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas October 23rd, 2014

Advancing thin film research with nanostructured AZO: Innovnano’s unique and cost-effective AZO sputtering targets for the production of transparent conducting oxides October 23rd, 2014

Researchers patent a nanofluid that improves heat conductivity October 22nd, 2014

Could I squeeze by you? Ames Laboratory scientists model molecular movement within narrow channels of mesoporous nanoparticles October 21st, 2014

Solar/Photovoltaic

Advancing thin film research with nanostructured AZO: Innovnano’s unique and cost-effective AZO sputtering targets for the production of transparent conducting oxides October 23rd, 2014

Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways October 16th, 2014

Dyesol Signs Letter of Intent with Tata Steel October 13th, 2014

DNA nano-foundries cast custom-shaped metal nanoparticles: DNA's programmable assembly is leveraged to form precise 3D nanomaterials for disease detection, environmental testing, electronics and beyond October 10th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE