Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Research to probe deep within a solar cell

Abstract:
Engineers and scientists from the University of Sheffield have pioneered a new technique to analyse PCBM, a material used in polymer photovoltaic cells, obtaining details of the structure of the material which will be vital to improving the cell's efficiency. The findings are published in Applied Physics Letters.

Research to probe deep within a solar cell

Sheffield, UK | Posted on February 25th, 2013

Working with the ISIS pulsed neutron and muon source at the Science and Technology Facilities Council Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the researchers are the first to use a cutting-edge neutron scattering technique called SERGIS to analyse PCBM. The technique - still very much in development - has so far only been tested on samples with well-known, regular structures, such as diffraction gratings.

The experiment focused on crystallites of PCBM which were on the surface of a thin film of the solar cell material as the researchers could then verify their findings using other analysis techniques, such as atomic force microscopy. But they believe the technique could in future be used to analyse the material's structure deep inside the active layers of a solar cell. This will enable them to understand how different fabrication methods impact on the cell's structure, and therefore its efficiency.

Dr Alan Dunbar from Sheffield's Faculty of Engineering explains: "The SERGIS technique uses polarised neutrons which are bounced off the sample being tested. Where the resulting neutrons end up and how their polarisation has changed tells us information about the structure within our samples. The advantage of this type of technique is that because neutrons only interact weakly with the sample we can probe much deeper where many microscopy techniques cannot see."

"This is the first time the technique has been used to look at this material which is of real interest to science. It enabled us to map the size of the PCBM crystallites and the distance between them, both properties which are key to improving efficiency."

Research into photovoltaics is one of many areas of energy research conducted at the University of Sheffield, including wind power, nuclear power, biofuels, district heating and carbon capture.

SERGIS - which stands for neutron spin echo resolved grazing incidence scattering - can only be conducted in a few places worldwide, among them the ISIS pulsed neutron and muon source in Oxfordshire.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Abigail Chard

0044-079-604-48532

Copyright © University of Sheffield

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

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI) Volume 6, issue 2 coming out soon! December 5th, 2016

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Thin films

Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics October 12th, 2016

Continuous roll-process technology for transferring and packaging flexible LSI August 29th, 2016

Self-cleaning, anti-reflective, microorganism-resistant coatings: Researchers at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country are modifying surface properties of materials to obtain specific properties at a lower cost August 9th, 2016

Scientists find a way of acquiring graphene-like films from salts to boost nanoelectronics: Physicists use supercomputers to find a way of making 'imitation graphene' from salt July 30th, 2016

Announcements

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI) Volume 6, issue 2 coming out soon! December 5th, 2016

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Tools

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Controlled electron pulses November 30th, 2016

Scientists shrink electron gun to matchbox size: Terahertz technology has the potential to enable new applications November 25th, 2016

News from Quorum: The Agricultural Research Service of the USDA uses a Quorum Cryo-SEM preparation system for the study of mites, ticks and other soft bodied organisms November 22nd, 2016

Energy

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells December 1st, 2016

Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells: Researchers combine quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient, green solar cells November 30th, 2016

Solar/Photovoltaic

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells December 1st, 2016

Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells: Researchers combine quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient, green solar cells November 30th, 2016

'Back to the Future' inspires solar nanotech-powered clothing November 15th, 2016

Dental

Nanocellulose in medicine and green manufacturing: American University professor develops method to improve performance of cellulose nanocrystals November 7th, 2016

STMicroelectronics’ Semiconductor Chips Contribute to Connected Toothbrush from Oral-B That Sees What You Don’t: Microcontroller and Accelerometer help brushers clean their teeth more effectively October 4th, 2016

Iran to hold intl. school on application of nanomaterials in medicine September 20th, 2016

Tooth decay -- drilling down to the nanoscale: Researchers from the University of Sydney believe they have identified some nanoscale elements that govern the behavior of our teeth September 11th, 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