Tag Archives: solar cells

Solar cells (like people!) work better with caffeine

In UCLA-led study, perovskite-based devices benefit from the strong bond between lead and the same chemical found in coffee and tea

Scientists at the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA have found that caffeine improves the stability of materials under heat – a property known as thermal stability — of perovskite solar cells, which could someday replace traditional silicon-based solar cells. (more…)

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Nanoparticle Breakthrough Could Capture Unseen Light for Solar Energy Conversion

Scientists demonstrate how organic dyes work as antennas to help harness, convert light

An international team of scientists has demonstrated a breakthrough in the design and function of nanoparticles that could make solar panels more efficient by converting light usually missed by solar cells into usable energy. (more…)

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UW researchers illuminate ways to heal defects in solar cells

Electrical energy fuels our modern lives, from the computer screen that keeps us up after sunset to the coffee maker that greets us at sunrise. But the electricity underlying our 21st century world, by and large, is generated at a cost — through the unsustainable expenditure of fossil fuels. For decades this demand for cheap, fast and non-renewable electricity has promoted pollution and global warming. (more…)

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Precision Growth of Light-emitting Nanowires

Berkeley Lab team shows metal-alloy catalysts give more control in nanowire fabrication.

A novel approach to growing nanowires promises a new means of control over their light-emitting and electronic properties. In a recent issue of Nano Letters, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) demonstrated a new growth technique that uses specially engineered catalysts. These catalysts, which are precursors to growing the nanowires, have given scientists more options than ever in turning the color of light-emitting nanowires. (more…)

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Researchers Find Simple, Cheap Way to Increase Solar Cell Efficiency

Researchers from North Carolina State University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found an easy way to modify the molecular structure of a polymer commonly used in solar cells. Their modification can increase solar cell efficiency by more than 30 percent.

Polymer-based solar cells have two domains, consisting of an electron acceptor and an electron donor material. Excitons are the energy particles created by solar cells when light is absorbed. In order to be harnessed effectively as an energy source, excitons must be able to travel quickly to the interface of the donor and acceptor domains and retain as much of the light’s energy as possible. (more…)

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