September 27, 2011
TU Delft: Cheap And Efficient Solar Cell Made Possible By Linked Nanoparticles
Researchers of the Chemical Engineering department and the Kavli institute of TU Delft have demonstrated that electrons can move freely in layers of linked semiconductor nanoparticles under the influence of light. This new knowledge will be very useful for the development of cheap and efficient quantum dot solar cells. The researchers published their findings on Sunday 25 September on the website of the scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology.
Cheap and efficient
Up to now, the creation of electron-hole pairs under the influence of light was only demonstrated within the limits of a quantum dot. To be usable in solar cells, it is essential that electrons and holes are able to move. This is what creates an electrical current that can be collected at an electrode. Researchers from the same research group have now demonstrated that the electron-hole pairs can also move as free charges between the nanoparticles. To this end they linked nanoparticles together, using very small molecules, so that they were very densely clustered while still remaining separate from each other. The nanoparticles are so close together that every single light particle that is absorbed by the solar cell actually causes electrons to move.
On the Net: