Photonic Plastic Peace
Plastic Solar Cell Efficiency Hits 6% in U.S. Lab
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Cheap plastic solar cells are now closer to becoming a reality thanks to a team of U.S. scientists at the Wake Forest University Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials. The researchers announced last month they had pushed the efficiency of plastic solar cells to more than 6 percent.
That percentage may not seem like a huge landmark compared to a photovoltaic (PV) cell achieving an efficiency rating of say 40.7 percent, which was the milestone attained by Spectrolab, Inc. in December 2006. But until two years ago, the highest efficiency ever achieved for plastic solar cells was just three percent.
"Within only two years we have more than doubled the 3 percent mark," Carroll said. "I fully expect to see higher numbers within the next two years, which may make plastic devices the photovoltaic of choice."
In a paper published in the journal Applied Physics Letters, the Wake Forest researchers describe how they have achieved record efficiency for organic or flexible, plastic solar cells by creating "nano-filaments" within light absorbing plastic, similar to the veins in tree leaves. This allows for the use of thicker absorbing layers in the devices, which capture more of the sun's light." more
Not counting the Wars in the mideast, the geographic state of the United States spends a half a trillion a year on its War machine. If they spent the same as Great Britain or Russia or France or China, the budget would be in balance and billions could be applied to these tools of peace instead of our senseless weapons of war.
Labels: advanced tech