Thursday, August 2, 2012

Inexpensive and Efficient Solar Cell

Research group creates highly sensitive photodetector from graphene and quantum dots
Hybrid graphene-quantum dot phototransistor. Image (c) Nature Nanotechnology (2012) doi:10.1038/nnano.2012.60

Engineers have used inexpensive materials to create a solar cell certified at a world-record 7.0 percent efficiency.

The solar cell represents a 37 percent increase in efficiency over the previous certified record.
A breakthrough in the development of colloidal quantum dot (CQD) films allowed the researchers from the University of Toronto and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) to develop the solar cell. Their work is featured in a letter published in Nature Nanotechnology.

Here is the original article from Nature Nanotechnology (published last week of July,2012)
Hybrid graphene–quantum dot phototransistors with ultrahigh gain, Nature Nanotechnology (2012) doi:10.1038/nnano.2012.60

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In order to improve efficiency, the researchers needed a way to both reduce the number of “traps” for electrons associated with poor surface quality while simultaneously ensuring their films were very dense to absorb as much light as possible. The solution was a so-called “hybrid passivation” scheme.

Read a review