Solar cells of the future

Dec 18, 2007

A new material, nano flakes, may revolutionise the transformation of solar energy to electricity. If so, even ordinary households can benefit from solar electricity and save money in the future.

If researcher Martin Aagesen’s future solar cells meet the expectations, both your economy and the environment will benefit from the research. Less than 1 per cent of the world’s electricity comes from the sun because it is difficult to transform solar energy to electricity. But Martin Aagesen’s discovery may be a huge step towards boosting the exploitation of solar energy.

"We believe that the nano flakes have the potential to convert up to 30 per cent of the solar energy into electricity and that is twice the amount that we convert today," says Martin Aagesen who is a PhD from the Nano-Science Center and the Niels Bohr Institute at University of Copenhagen. During his work on his PhD thesis, Martin found a new and untried material.

"I discovered a perfect crystalline structure. That is a very rare sight. While being a perfect crystalline structure we could see that it also absorbed all light. It could become the perfect solar cell," says Martin. The discovery of the new material has sparked a lot of attention internationally and has led to an article in Nature Nanotechnology.

"The potential is unmistakeable. We can reduce the solar cell production costs because we use less of the expensive semiconducting silicium in the process due to the use of nanotechnology. At the same time, the future solar cells will exploit the solar energy better as the distance of energy transportation in the solar cell will be shorter and thus lessen the loss of energy," says Martin Aagesen who is also director of the company SunFlake Inc. that pursues development of the new solar cell.

Source: University of Copenhagen

Explore further: Project uses crowd computing to improve water filtration

Related Stories

'Hello Earth!': Comet probe Philae wakes up

Jun 14, 2015

The European space probe Philae woke up overnight after nearly seven months in hibernation as it hurtled towards the Sun on the back of a comet, mission control said Sunday.

GOES-R EXIS instrument ready for integration

May 02, 2013

The first of six instruments that will fly on GOES-R, NOAA's next-generation of geostationary operational environmental satellites, has been completed on schedule, seven months before its scheduled installation ...

Wake up Philae! The world awaits news (Update)

Mar 12, 2015

Excitement mounted Thursday as scientists started listening for signs of life from robot lab Philae, hurtling through space perched on a comet some 460 million kilometres (285 million miles) from Earth.

Recommended for you

Tiny wires could provide a big energy boost

13 hours ago

Wearable electronic devices for health and fitness monitoring are a rapidly growing area of consumer electronics; one of their biggest limitations is the capacity of their tiny batteries to deliver enough ...

Graphene sheets enable ultrasound transmitters

14 hours ago

University of California, Berkeley, physicists have used graphene to build lightweight ultrasonic loudspeakers and microphones, enabling people to mimic bats or dolphins' ability to use sound to communicate ...

Project uses crowd computing to improve water filtration

Jul 06, 2015

Nearly 800 million people worldwide don't have access to safe drinking water, and some 2.5 billion people live in precariously unsanitary conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ...

Engineering the world's smallest nanocrystal

Jul 06, 2015

In the natural world, proteins use the process of biomineralization to incorporate metallic elements into tissues, using it to create diverse materials such as seashells, teeth, and bones. However, the way ...

A stretchy mesh heater for sore muscles

Jul 03, 2015

If you suffer from chronic muscle pain a doctor will likely recommend for you to apply heat to the injury. But how do you effectively wrap that heat around a joint? Korean Scientists at the Center for Nanoparticle ...

Polymer mold makes perfect silicon nanostructures

Jul 03, 2015

Using molds to shape things is as old as humanity. In the Bronze Age, the copper-tin alloy was melted and cast into weapons in ceramic molds. Today, injection and extrusion molding shape hot liquids into ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

SDMike
not rated yet Dec 18, 2007
I ain't holdin' my breath.
How many solar cell breakthroughs have we seen?
How many solar cell are on our roofs?
Sounds like more "pie in the sky bye and bye."
Paradox
5 / 5 (1) Dec 20, 2007
I seem to recall an article about a supposed 80% efficiency in a "new" method of solar power generation. That was a few years back, in pop-sci mag I think. I wonder what ever happened to that?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.