In Brief: 'Multiple exciton collection' could result in more efficient solar cells

Sep 30, 2010
Professor Bruce Parkinson
Professor Bruce Parkinson conducts research in a University of Wyoming solar energy laboratory. In an article published in the journal Science, Parkinson and others report a major step toward developing more efficient solar cells.

(PhysOrg.com) -- A University of Wyoming professor's findings, published today in the journal Science may open the door to new designs for inexpensive and higher efficiency solar cells.

Bruce Parkinson, distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry and the School of Energy Resources at UW, is one of three authors of the Sept. 30 article, "Multiple Exciton Collection in a Sensitized ." Other authors are Justin B. Sambur, a graduate student from Colorado State University who works with Parkinson at UW, and Thomas Novet with Voxtel Incorporated in Beaverton, Ore.

Parkinson explains that photovoltaic solar cells, like the ones that can be seen on an increasing number of roofs, convert only a small fraction of the energy in sunlight directly into electricity. Scientists have predicted that it is possible to increase their efficiency by converting the high-energy part of sunlight into additional .

"Despite results from other experiments showing that this was possible, no one had demonstrated the generation of this additional current in a ," Parkinson says.

The research at the University of Wyoming used a model photovoltaic system, containing small semiconducting particles called , to demonstrate the collection of twice the number of electrons from high-energy photons.

He says the findings offer a major step toward developing more efficient solar cells.

Explore further: Chemically driven micro- and nanomotors

More information: Justin B. Sambur et al., Multiple Exciton Collection in a Sensitized Photovoltaic System, Science 1 October 2010: Vol. 330. no. 6000, pp. 63 - 66. DOI: 10.1126/science.1191462

Provided by University of Wyoming

4.3 /5 (10 votes)

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Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Sep 30, 2010
So....we're talking about ~300watts/m^2 instead of the ~150watts/m^2 of existing panels?

Let's see this NOW!
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Oct 01, 2010
Did someone say they were going to solve our power problems by building a vast number of nuclear reactors??!!

Oh wait its ANOTHER article on "more efficient" solar panels...YAWN...
RTT
not rated yet Oct 01, 2010
Yeah - another without any values as to the increase of efficiency ( .001 - 100% ?)
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Oct 01, 2010
Yeah - another without any values as to the increase of efficiency ( .001 - 100% ?)


what are you talking about? From the article:

The research at the University of Wyoming used a model photovoltaic system, containing small semiconducting particles called quantum dots, to demonstrate the collection of twice the number of electrons from high-energy photons.


If you have double the number of electrons then you have double the electricity...which implies double the efficiency...
JamesThomas
not rated yet Oct 01, 2010
With hundreds of university and company labs working on improving solar power generation there are new breakthroughs happening every day. Most are related, and either of a quantum dot/tube/graphene, or basic chemical/material manipulation.

What we need is a clearing house to bring all these ideas and breakthroughs together so that the most closely matched ones can work together to help make these significant improvements reach the market place....ASAP!
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Oct 01, 2010
When we cover the entire world with solar panels, it will increase global warming, because the earth's albedo will be decreased.
ecotek2u
not rated yet Oct 07, 2010
When we cover the world with fusion reactors the energy released will......! Its all a matter of scale really, I guess.

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