Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > New class of nanoparticle brings cheaper, lighter solar cells outdoors

Abstract:
Think those flat, glassy solar panels on your neighbour's roof are the pinnacle of solar technology? Think again.

Researchers in the University of Toronto's Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering have designed and tested a new class of solar-sensitive nanoparticle that outshines the current state of the art employing this new class of technology.

New class of nanoparticle brings cheaper, lighter solar cells outdoors

Toronto, Canada | Posted on June 9th, 2014

This new form of solid, stable light-sensitive nanoparticles, called colloidal quantum dots, could lead to cheaper and more flexible solar cells, as well as better gas sensors, infrared lasers, infrared light emitting diodes and more. The work, led by post-doctoral researcher Zhijun Ning and Professor Ted Sargent, was published this week in Nature Materials.

Collecting sunlight using these tiny colloidal quantum dots depends on two types of semiconductors: n-type, which are rich in electrons; and p-type, which are poor in electrons. The problem? When exposed to the air, n-type materials bind to oxygen atoms, give up their electrons, and turn into p-type. Ning and colleagues modelled and demonstrated a new colloidal quantum dot n-type material that does not bind oxygen when exposed to air.

Maintaining stable n- and p-type layers simultaneously not only boosts the efficiency of light absorption, it opens up a world of new optoelectronic devices that capitalize on the best properties of both light and electricity. For the average person, this means more sophisticated weather satellites, remote controllers, satellite communication, or pollution detectors.

"This is a material innovation, that's the first part, and with this new material we can build new device structures," said Ning. "Iodide is almost a perfect ligand for these quantum solar cells with both high efficiency and air stability—no one has shown that before."

Ning's new hybrid n- and p-type material achieved solar power conversion efficiency up to eight per cent—among the best results reported to date.

But improved performance is just a start for this new quantum-dot-based solar cell architecture. The powerful little dots could be mixed into inks and painted or printed onto thin, flexible surfaces, such as roofing shingles, dramatically lowering the cost and accessibility of solar power for millions of people.

"The field of colloidal quantum dot photovoltaics requires continued improvement in absolute performance, or power conversion efficiency," said Sargent. "The field has moved fast, and keeps moving fast, but we need to work toward bringing performance to commercially compelling levels."

This research was conducted in collaboration with Dalhousie University, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Dominic Ali

416-978-6974

Marit Mitchell
Senior Communications Officer
The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
University of Toronto
416-978-7997

Copyright © University of Toronto

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

A step ahead in the race toward ultrafast imaging of single particles April 9th, 2020

House cleaning on the nanoscale: FAU scientists develop method for cleaning surfaces at the nanoscale April 8th, 2020

A twist connecting magnetism and electronic-band topology: Combined optical and torque measurements establish the microscopic mechanism linking magnetism and electronic-band topology in a Dirac material April 7th, 2020

New measurements reveal evidence of elusive particles in a newly-discovered superconductor: Material may be natural home to quasiparticle hiding for decades April 3rd, 2020

Thin films

Groovy key to nanotubes in 2D: Why do carbon nanotubes line up? They're in a groove March 16th, 2020

Water-free way to make MXenes could mean new uses for the promising nanomaterials: Discovery by Drexel researchers could open new application for MXene materials March 13th, 2020

Research zeroing in on electronic nose for monitoring air quality, diagnosing disease February 1st, 2020

NUS scientists create world’s first monolayer amorphous film January 9th, 2020

Discoveries

A step ahead in the race toward ultrafast imaging of single particles April 9th, 2020

House cleaning on the nanoscale: FAU scientists develop method for cleaning surfaces at the nanoscale April 8th, 2020

A twist connecting magnetism and electronic-band topology: Combined optical and torque measurements establish the microscopic mechanism linking magnetism and electronic-band topology in a Dirac material April 7th, 2020

New measurements reveal evidence of elusive particles in a newly-discovered superconductor: Material may be natural home to quasiparticle hiding for decades April 3rd, 2020

Announcements

A step ahead in the race toward ultrafast imaging of single particles April 9th, 2020

House cleaning on the nanoscale: FAU scientists develop method for cleaning surfaces at the nanoscale April 8th, 2020

A twist connecting magnetism and electronic-band topology: Combined optical and torque measurements establish the microscopic mechanism linking magnetism and electronic-band topology in a Dirac material April 7th, 2020

New measurements reveal evidence of elusive particles in a newly-discovered superconductor: Material may be natural home to quasiparticle hiding for decades April 3rd, 2020

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

A step ahead in the race toward ultrafast imaging of single particles April 9th, 2020

A twist connecting magnetism and electronic-band topology: Combined optical and torque measurements establish the microscopic mechanism linking magnetism and electronic-band topology in a Dirac material April 7th, 2020

New measurements reveal evidence of elusive particles in a newly-discovered superconductor: Material may be natural home to quasiparticle hiding for decades April 3rd, 2020

3D reconstructions of individual nanoparticles: Liquid phase electron microscopy illuminates 3D atomic structures of platinum nanoparticles, advancing full control of nanoengineering April 3rd, 2020

Energy

Graphene nanotubes can increase the number of wind turbines to decrease CO2 emissions March 31st, 2020

Quantum phenomenon governs organic solar cells: Vibronic coherence contributes to photocurrent generation in organic semiconductor heterojunction diodes March 30th, 2020

3D hierarchically porous nanostructured catalyst helps efficiently reduce CO2? This new catalyst will bring CO2 one step closer to serving as a sustainable energy source March 13th, 2020

Water-free way to make MXenes could mean new uses for the promising nanomaterials: Discovery by Drexel researchers could open new application for MXene materials March 13th, 2020

Aerospace/Space

The National Space Society not holding the International Space Development Conference 2020 in May Due to COVID-19 Concerns March 19th, 2020

The National Space Society Mourns the Passing of Astronaut Al Worden: Worden flew as the Command Module Pilot on Apollo 15 March 19th, 2020

Heartwarming New Book Brings Moonwalkers Down to Earth: “For All Humankind,” Featuring Three National Space Society Governors, Provides a Fresh Look at the First Moon Landing March 17th, 2020

National Space Society to Honor NASA's Juno Mission Team at Its 2020 International Space Development Conference: Dr. Scott Bolton, Juno Mission Principal Investigator, to Accept February 28th, 2020

Quantum Dots/Rods

Water-free way to make MXenes could mean new uses for the promising nanomaterials: Discovery by Drexel researchers could open new application for MXene materials March 13th, 2020

CEA-Leti and CEA-IRIG Demonstrate Quantum Integrated Circuit Combining Quantum Dot with Digital-Analog Circuits on CMOS Chip: Presentation at ISSCC 2020 Shows Role FD-SOI Can Play in Embedding Qubit Arrays with Classic Electronics to Build Large-Scale Quantum Silicon Processors February 20th, 2020

CEA-Leti and Partners Demo Potentially Scalable Readout System for Large Arrays of Quantum Dots: Results Hold promise for Fast, Accurate Single-Shot Readout ‘Of Foundry-Compatible Si MOS Spin Qubits’ December 12th, 2019

Visible light and nanoparticle catalysts produce desirable bioactive molecules: Simple photochemical method takes advantage of quantum mechanics October 31st, 2019

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

A combined optical transmitter and receiver: Bidirectional optical signal transmission between two identical devices using perovskite diodes April 3rd, 2020

Light in the tunnel March 26th, 2020

Heterostructure and Q-factor engineering for low-threshold and persistent nanowire lasing March 22nd, 2020

On-chip single-mode CdS nanowire laser March 21st, 2020

Research partnerships

A combined optical transmitter and receiver: Bidirectional optical signal transmission between two identical devices using perovskite diodes April 3rd, 2020

3D reconstructions of individual nanoparticles: Liquid phase electron microscopy illuminates 3D atomic structures of platinum nanoparticles, advancing full control of nanoengineering April 3rd, 2020

Carbon nanotubes forecast when vegetables spoil and buds bloom April 2nd, 2020

A pigment from ancient Egypt to modern microscopy: Göttingen research team produces new nanosheets for near infrared imaging March 23rd, 2020

Solar/Photovoltaic

Quantum phenomenon governs organic solar cells: Vibronic coherence contributes to photocurrent generation in organic semiconductor heterojunction diodes March 30th, 2020

Water-free way to make MXenes could mean new uses for the promising nanomaterials: Discovery by Drexel researchers could open new application for MXene materials March 13th, 2020

A consensus statement establishes the protocols to assess and report stability of perovskite photovoltaic devices February 1st, 2020

A consensus statement establishes the protocols to study stability of perovskite photovoltaic devices January 24th, 2020

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project