Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

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

Nanofiltration Membrane Market 2015 - Global Industry Survey, Analysis, Size, Share, Outlook and Forecast to 2020 July 31st, 2015

Nanozirconia Market 2015 - Global Industry Survey, Analysis, Size, Share, Outlook and Forecast to 2020 July 31st, 2015

Self-Healing Nano Anti-rust Coatings Market 2015 - Global Industry Survey, Analysis, Size, Share, Outlook and Forecast to 2020 July 31st, 2015

Nano Spray Instrument Market 2015 - Global Industry Survey, Analysis, Size, Share, Outlook and Forecast to 2020 July 31st, 2015

Nanocellulose Market 2015 - Global Industry Survey, Analysis, Size, Share, Outlook and Forecast to 2020 July 31st, 2015

Thin films

Nano Spray Instrument Market 2015 - Global Industry Survey, Analysis, Size, Share, Outlook and Forecast to 2020 July 31st, 2015

Heating and cooling with light leads to ultrafast DNA diagnostics July 31st, 2015

Discoveries

Heating and cooling with light leads to ultrafast DNA diagnostics July 31st, 2015

Theoretical Physicists at Freie Universitšt Berlin Develop New Insights into Interface between Classical and Quantum Worlds July 31st, 2015

Sol-gel capacitor dielectric offers record-high energy storage July 30th, 2015

Controlling Dynamic Behavior of Carbon Nanosheets in Structures Made Possible July 30th, 2015

Announcements

Nano Spray Instrument Market 2015 - Global Industry Survey, Analysis, Size, Share, Outlook and Forecast to 2020 July 31st, 2015

Nanocellulose Market 2015 - Global Industry Survey, Analysis, Size, Share, Outlook and Forecast to 2020 July 31st, 2015

Heating and cooling with light leads to ultrafast DNA diagnostics July 31st, 2015

Theoretical Physicists at Freie Universitšt Berlin Develop New Insights into Interface between Classical and Quantum Worlds July 31st, 2015

Energy

Springer and Tsinghua University Press present the second Nano Research Award: Paul Alivisatos of the University of California Berkeley receives the honor for outstanding contributions in nanoscience July 30th, 2015

Controlling Dynamic Behavior of Carbon Nanosheets in Structures Made Possible July 30th, 2015

March 2016; 6th Int'l Conference on Nanostructures in Iran July 29th, 2015

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity: UC Riverside researchers find a way to use the infrared region of the sun's spectrum to make solar cells more efficient July 27th, 2015

Solar/Photovoltaic

Springer and Tsinghua University Press present the second Nano Research Award: Paul Alivisatos of the University of California Berkeley receives the honor for outstanding contributions in nanoscience July 30th, 2015

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity: UC Riverside researchers find a way to use the infrared region of the sun's spectrum to make solar cells more efficient July 27th, 2015

Rice University finding could lead to cheap, efficient metal-based solar cells: Plasmonics study suggests how to maximize production of 'hot electrons' July 22nd, 2015

Perovskite solar technology shows quick energy returns: New technology beats current solar panel technology in life-cycle energy assessment July 20th, 2015

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