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

Iranian Researchers Present New Model to Strengthen Superconductivity at Higher Temperatures April 19th, 2014

Iranian Researchers Produce New Anti-Cancer Drug from Turmeric April 19th, 2014

'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin April 18th, 2014

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair April 18th, 2014

Thin films

Transparent Conductive Films and Sensors Are Hot Segments in Printed Electronics: Start-ups in these fields show above-average momentum, while companies working on emissive displays such as OLED are fading, Lux Research says April 17th, 2014

Industry Veteran Fergus Clarke Joins Picodeon as CEO: Appointment comes as Picodeon prepares for growth April 8th, 2014

Scalable CVD process for making 2-D molybdenum diselenide: Rice, NTU scientists unveil CVD production for coveted 2-D semiconductor April 8th, 2014

High-quality nanometric bilayers prepared by aqueous solutions March 26th, 2014

Discoveries

Iranian Researchers Present New Model to Strengthen Superconductivity at Higher Temperatures April 19th, 2014

Iranian Researchers Produce New Anti-Cancer Drug from Turmeric April 19th, 2014

'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin April 18th, 2014

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair April 18th, 2014

Announcements

Iranian Researchers Present New Model to Strengthen Superconductivity at Higher Temperatures April 19th, 2014

Iranian Researchers Produce New Anti-Cancer Drug from Turmeric April 19th, 2014

'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin April 18th, 2014

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair April 18th, 2014

Energy

High-temperature plasmonics eyed for solar, computer innovation April 17th, 2014

Scientists Capture Ultrafast Snapshots of Light-Driven Superconductivity: X-rays reveal how rapidly vanishing 'charge stripes' may be behind laser-induced high-temperature superconductivity April 16th, 2014

Engineers develop new materials for hydrogen storage April 15th, 2014

A molecular approach to solar power: Switchable material could harness the power of the sun ó even when itís not shining April 15th, 2014

Solar/Photovoltaic

High-temperature plasmonics eyed for solar, computer innovation April 17th, 2014

A molecular approach to solar power: Switchable material could harness the power of the sun ó even when itís not shining April 15th, 2014

Shiny quantum dots brighten future of solar cells: Photovoltaic solar-panel windows could be next for your house April 14th, 2014

Scientists open door to better solar cells, superconductors and hard-drives: Research enhances understanding of materials interfaces April 14th, 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