|Updated: 11/24/2005; 11:37:21 PM.
Interesting tech developments in nanotech, nanostructured materials, etc.
Sunday, April 14, 2002
Thinner Materials Improve Flexible Solar Cells, Flat Panel Displays: Virginia Tech researchers create films in one-nanometer-thick layers. They select materials that will self-assemble. Positively and negatively charged molecules are elercctrically attracted to one another. Building materials based on this attraction is called ionic self-assembled multilayers (ISAM). The researchers are using polymers and fullerenes.
So far, the efficiency of organic solar cells is only about 20 percent of silicon. The Virginia Tech researchers use ultra-thin layers of fullerenes that act as electron acceptors, which they have demonstrated increases the efficiency of the organic solar cells. The problem being solved by nanotechnology is the distance between the materials that are electron donors and acceptors. The fullerene has to be within 10 nanometers of where the light is absorbed for current to be created. "We believe we can improve the efficiency by factors of five or 10 through nanoscale control of the composition and thickness," Heflin says. "We expect organic solar cells will be at least as efficient as silicon within five years."
They have also created thin film that can be changed from transparent to deep violet and back as rapidly as 20 times per second, close to what's needed for displays. 12:19:56 AM
Copyright 2005 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 11/24/2005; 11:37:21 PM.