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Carbon-reducing technologies target climate change

Posted: 02 Dec 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NASA? IPCC? climate change? gasoline? solar cell?

"Solar cells are able to provide the highest possibly voltage when the photoluminescence quantum yield (a parameter that is extremely sensitive to defects) is perfect. In our recent work we were able to obtain this in monolayer MoS2 by passivating defects through treatment with an organic super acid," Amani said. "One of the interesting results from our treated MoS2 samples is that the luminescence yield does not drop off when the pump is very weak. This type of recombination (called Shockley-Read-Hall recombination) is observed in almost all other semiconductors and from a solar point of view means that if you run your cell on a cloudy day you will get even less power than you expect from the reduced light. Since this does not happen in MoS2 it could be a very good solar cell for deep space applications or energy harvesting in areas where there is very little sunlight."

Sun

Bathing the Earth with enough energy in one hour to meet human needs for an entire year, the sun represents the ultimate source of clean, green sustainable energy, if only our solar cells were wide spectrum enough to capture all its glory. (SOURCE: Berkeley Lab)

The superacid "bistriflimide" (TFSI) works by giving up protons to vacancy defects in the MoS2 while simultaneously dissolving any contaminants on the surface of the monolayer, thus resulting in the world's thinnest perfect light absorbing monolayer. The MoS2 monolayers are not fragile either, because they are held together with powerful van der Waals forces, keeping each layer aligned with atomic accuracy. The material can be tuned to absorb a wide range of frequencies, as well as emit different frequencies depending on the voltage applied, allowing a multi-layer version to absorb almost the entire solar spectrum.

Luminescent solar concentrators

Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) using quantum dots and photonic mirrors (right) to incur far less parasitic loss of photons (photonic luminescence, PL) than LSCs using molecular dyes as lumophores. (SOURCE: Berkeley Lab, used with permission)


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