Scientists demonstrate new semiconductor material for solar cell technology

October 30, 2015
Scientists demonstrate new semiconductor material for solar cell technology

The University of Liverpool is part of an international research team that have demonstrated a new semiconductor material made from abundant elements which can be "tuned" for use in solar cells instead of rare elements.

Semiconductors are vital to the electronics industry and are used in everything from smart phones to solar panels but they rely on such as tellurium, gallium and indium and there is increasing concern over their cost and availability.

Researchers focussed on the compound zinc tin nitride (ZnSnN2) which has been recently synthesized by research groups around the world, using zinc and tin – metals which are readily available through mature recycling facilities – rather than expensive and rare metals.

Working with the compound, they discovered an innovative tuning process which means it could provide a possible replacement for semiconductor material currently used in solar cells.

It had been thought that the band gap (a semiconductor's defining characteristic) was too large for device applications such as . However, the researchers found that the alloy's band gap can be "tuned" by altering the perfectly ordered crystalline lattice by introducing disorder in the form of randomly distributed zinc and tin atoms.

Dr Tim Veal, a reader in Physics and researcher in the University of Liverpool's Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy, said: "Such tuneability is typically achieved in other material systems by alloying, or blending in other elements, to obtain the desired result, However, this is not necessary with ZnSnN2, given the recent discovery."

Dr Steve Durbin, Professor and Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Western Michigan University, added: "We use a sophisticated crystal growth technique known as . It allowed us to control crystal quality by carefully adjusting parameters such as temperature and the ratio of incident atomic (or molecular) beams."

Dr Veal added: "By doing so, the team has been able to observe a wide range of disorder in a number of samples, and correlated this with a significant reduction in energy – paving the way for this material to be considered for solar cell applications."

The research, funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council and US National Science Foundation, is published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials.

Explore further: New alloys key to efficient energy and lighting

More information: Tim D. Veal et al. Band Gap Dependence on Cation Disorder in ZnSnN2 Solar Absorber , Advanced Energy Materials (2015). DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201501462

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gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 30, 2015
If this pans out, nuke apologists will have to find another factor about which to complain regarding cheap wind and PV compared to intensely-costly nuclear powerplants.
Eikka
5 / 5 (4) Oct 30, 2015
If this pans out, nuke apologists will have to find another factor about which to complain regarding cheap wind and PV compared to intensely-costly nuclear powerplants.


If this pans out, that's still just the start of the beginning of the solution towards a renewable energy society.

If you manage to get solar energy at 1 cent per kWh raw at the output of the solar array - that's a good start. Good job. Congratulations.

Then you have to figure out how to and how much it costs to store and buffer that energy to actually utilize it in the real world, and how to convert it to other forms, into different energetic chemicals in order to produce the materials necessary to produce the very solar panels themselves to run the whole thing in a self-sustaining manner.

Because right now, the cheapness of things like solar energy is a total illusion: it's only cheap because you keep buying solar cells made with Chinese coal under state subsidies designed to undercut the market
gkam
1.7 / 5 (6) Oct 30, 2015
"If you manage to get solar energy at 1 cent per kWh raw at the output of the solar array -"
-------------------------------------

Versus what for "clean coal"? There is none. The plants are closed or closing.

Nukes? Look up the cost of power from Hinckley and Vogtle Three, and tell me you want them to run for 50 years at that price.

Wind and PV plus storage will eventually kill thermal plants, except for line-focus, geothermal, efficient gas, and some others.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2015
George kamburoff the compulsive liar sayd:
Versus what for "clean coal"? There is none. The plants are closed or closing
-but in reality...

"New Coal Projects in the coal industry start new power plant construction every year with coal energy demand increasing around the world. New plant efficiencies, emission controls and clean coal technologies keep coal plant construction costs in line with expected return."

Anyone who supports this LIAR is by proxy a liar himself.
gkam
1.7 / 5 (6) Oct 31, 2015
Show me a "clean coal" powerplant now in successful operation. Then, I will send you a list of those which are not.
my2cts
5 / 5 (1) Nov 01, 2015
At present solar is just a way to avoid taxes, which make up 75% of the electricity price where I live. People switch to solar for economic reasons. They will be caught however, since by the time everybody has solar, the tax on solar will have risen to equal the tax income (optimist estimate) lost by the drop in fossile consumption.
gkam
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 01, 2015
"At present solar is just a way to avoid taxes, which make up 75% of the electricity price where I live."
----------------------------------

Where do you pay 75% in taxes?
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2015
show me a clean coal power plant in successful operation and then I will send you a list of those which are not
George, this is not a defense of your statement
they are closed or closing
-it's just more of your psychopathic gibberish.

"But there is something else about the speech of psychopaths that is equally puzzling: their frequent use of contradictory and logically inconsistent statements that usually escape detection"

-You said they are closed or closing. I provided a valid reference showing that this was a lie.

You demonstrate nearly every day what a lying psychopath george kamburoff really is. IMO.
gkam
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 02, 2015
No, otto, you have not showed anything. Show me one "clean coal" plant in economic operation which is not scheduled to be closed.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2015
No, otto, you have not showed anything. Show me one "clean coal" plant in economic operation which is not scheduled to be closed.
No retard, you said they were closed or closing. I showed you that:

""New Coal Projects in the coal industry start new power plant construction every year with coal energy demand increasing around the world. New plant efficiencies, emission controls and clean coal technologies keep coal plant construction costs in line with expected return."

-IOW I showed you that you lied.

The paragraph is a ref. Copy/paste it into google to read it.

Repeating the lie or trying to make people jump through hoops for you doesnt change this.
gkam
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 02, 2015
Show me the "clean coal" plant running, otto, not industry hype.

Show me.

And your repeated references to your obvious psychopathy is not going to get the required attention here. I suggest a psych website.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2015
"The world's first commercial coal-fired power plant that can capture its carbon dioxide emissions officially launched today in Canada — marking a milestone for 'clean coal' technology.

The Boundary Dam project, in Saskatchewan, aims to capture and sell around 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year — up to 90% of the emissions of one of its refitted power units — to oil company Cenovus Energy, which will pipe the compressed gas deep underground to flush out stubborn oil reserves. Unsold gas will be hived off to the Aquistore research project. (If you're curious to know what a carbon capture facility looks like, SaskPower provides a virtual tour of the power station.)"

-There you go you lying psychopath.
gkam
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 03, 2015
Thanks, otto. Now, I will tell you about that project and how successful it is. Then, I will list many others, upon which we squandered entire Sagans ("billions and billions"), of dollars.

But first, I have errands. I have a real life. Look up the term.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2015
I'll explain again. Highlight the quote, copy/paste it into google, choose one of the links, and read about it for yourself.

I don't jump through hoops for lying psychopaths.
gkam
2 / 5 (4) Nov 04, 2015
"I don't jump through hoops for lying psychopaths."
---------------------------

No, but you do for the folk who beat you at your own silly gotcha game. You follow me around like a sick puppy trying to nip at my heels because I bested you.

A puppy.
gkam
2 / 5 (4) Nov 04, 2015
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Nov 04, 2015
your own silly gotcha game. You follow me around like a sick puppy trying to nip at my heels because I bested you
This 'game' you refer to is something you made up in your mind. I never said it and you never produced evidence that I did.

IOW you're a liar.

You however have said you're here to play people like cheap kazoos.

You also lied about clean coal plants which took all of 2 mins to expose.

You're not only a liar but an uncommonly clumsy and talentless one.

I and many others follow you to expose your lies and demonstrate what louse you are. This is a community service.

George thinks that anybody who won't let him lie and get away with it, is a bully.

Whenever this happens george throws a tantrum and trashes the rest of the thread with lies about his past and how it demonstrates that he is above reproach.

But lies are lies george and you can't stop telling them. Doesn't matter who you are or what you've done.

Your lies speak for themselves.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Nov 04, 2015
Oh - george - I see your ratings have dropped into the ones where they belong.

So sad.

But you've brought this upon yourself.

Instead of following the rules if decency and decorum and respect for others, you regarded the people here as dumb goobers whom you could LIE to and not be found out.

You thought that these dumb goobers would be captivated with your fables about your glorious accomplishments, not realizing that most of the people here are genuine pros who have real pasts far more glorious than the one you concocted for yourself.

The community has responded accordingly.

They always do don't they?
gkam
2 / 5 (4) Nov 04, 2015
"most of the people here are genuine pros who have real pasts far more glorious than the one you concocted for yourself"
--------------------------------------

Then reveal yourself, Mister Accomplishment!

Tell us what you have done.

Unless you are just cowering in anonymity, . . SCARED of the rest of us.
gkam
2 / 5 (4) Nov 04, 2015
Getting even ain't what it used to be, is it, otto? You lost your silly gotcha game to me and now you have to do everything you can to get even.

But you can't.
Uncle Ira
3 / 5 (4) Nov 04, 2015
You lost your silly gotcha game to me .


Hooyeei, Cher, if otto-Skippy has been losing, I sure would hate to be you if he was winning. Choot, I would hate to be you while you are winning if that is what we been watching.

gkam
2 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2015
Tuning the collectors to certain frequencies should make them much more efficient, trapping the best wavelengths for generation. Thermal response would be reduced, as they get more efficient.

It may make sense to deposit receptors for many wavelengths to capture the most efficacious parts of the spectrum.
gkam
2 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2015
Wonder why the South is so late in the use of PV? Politics and ignorance. Their utilities run on coal and nukes, and now they are stuck with them.

But with all the rotting vegetation in the South, anaerobic digesters could be a large part of energy production there.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2015
Then reveal yourself, Mister Accomplishment!
You mean lie about my past the way you do? I cant imagine feeling that inadequate.
Tell us what you have done
Ive told you many times. Ive learned that I dont have to lie about my past in order to feel adequate. Ive learned to respect people by not lying to them and thus treating them like shit.

And Ive obviously learned a lot more than you about the things you guess at. How come you thought all nitrogen oxides were the same thing? Thats pretty ignorant you must admit, even for someone with an imaginary MS in environmental bullshit..

And Ive learned to use the internet to look things up rather than guess and appear as ignorant as you.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2015
entire Sagans ("billions and billions")
"Virtually all of the research on psychopaths reveals an inner world that is banal, sophomoric, and devoid of the color and detail that generally exists in the inner world of normal people."

"Those of us who have had experiences with psychopaths know that the language of the psychopath is two-dimensional. They are, as someone once said, as "deep as a thimble."

-IOW only hs sophomores would think youre clever.

And of course, yourself.
gkam
2 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2015
"And Ive learned to use the internet to look things up rather than guess and appear as ignorant as you."
-----------------------------------------

This was written for you:

http://www.thegua...n-google
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2015
"And Ive learned to use the internet to look things up rather than guess and appear as ignorant as you."
-----------------------------------------

This was written for you:

http://www.thegua...n-google

This was written for you (not you personally although your affliction might make you think that)
http://www.cassio...path.htm

-You must admit, looking up things written by bonafide experts beats inventing them in your diseased mind.

In order to discount bonafide experts you have to present counter-evidence from bonafide experts, not Wunschtraumen from confirmed serial liars and fabricators.

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