Somenath Mitra, PhD of the New Jersey Institute of
Technology (NJIT) has developed an inexpensive solar material that can be
sprayed on surfaces or printed on plastic with an ink jet printer. â€œThe process is simple,â€ said Mitra, â€œSomeday
homeowners will even be able to print sheets of these solar cells with
inexpensive home-based inkjet printers. Consumers can then slap the finished
product on a wall, roof or billboard to create their own power stations.â€ Well...if he says so! Though I don't want to think about how much an ink cartridge of fullerene is going to cost us.
Mitraâ€™s invention, a â€œFullerene single wall carbon nanotube complex for polymer bulk heterojunction photovoltaic cells,â€ is featured as the June 21, 2007 cover story of the Journal of Materials Chemistry published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
â€œDeveloping organic solar cells from polymers, however, is a
cheap and potentially simpler alternativeâ€ to silicon cells, said Mitra.
We foresee a great deal of interest in our work because solar cells can be inexpensively printed or simply painted on exterior building walls and/or roof tops. Imagine some day driving in your hybrid car with a solar panel painted on the roof, which is producing electricity to drive the engine. The opportunities are endless.The solar cell developed at NJIT uses a carbon nanotube complex. Nanotubes can conduct current better than any conventional electrical wire. â€œActually, nanotubes are significantly better conductors than copper,â€ Mitra added.
Mitra and his research team took the carbon nanotubes and combined them with tiny carbon Buckyballs (known as fullerenes) to form snake-like structures. Buckyballs trap electrons, although they canâ€™t make electrons flow. Add sunlight to excite the polymers, and the buckyballs will grab the electrons. Nanotubes, behaving like copper wires, will then be able to make the electrons or current flow.
â€œUsing this unique combination in an organic solar cell recipe can enhance the efficiency of future painted-on solar cells,â€ said Mitra. â€œSomeday, I hope to see this process become an inexpensive energy alternative for households around the world.â€
From a New Jersey Institute of Technology press release.
Via: Science Daily
written by Gordon Niessen, July 31, 2007
written by your nan, September 26, 2007
written by nanokiwi, December 14, 2007
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