With the advent of advanced global communication, new forms of social contract can be created which transcend the geographic state. These new cybercoops or cyberstates will bring humankind to higher levels of cooperation and understanding.
Here is another major announcement in photon to electron conversion materials. This one comes from Rice University.
Quantum dot recipe may lead to cheaper solar panels
Rice scientists clear hurdle on path to nanotech-based photovoltaics
Rice Universityscientists today revealed a breakthrough method for producing molecular specks of semiconductors called quantum dots, a discovery that could clear the way for better, cheaper solar energy panels.
The research, by scientists at Rice's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology(CBEN), appears this week in the journal Small. It describes a new chemical method for making four-legged cadmium selenide quantum dots, which previous research has shown to be particularly effective at converting sunlight into electrical energy.
"Our work knocks down a big barrier in developing quantum-dot-basedphotovoltaics as an alternative to the conventional, more expensive silicon-based solar cells," said paper co-author and principal investigator Michael Wong, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering.
Quantum dotsare "megamolecules" of semiconducting materials that are smaller than living cells. They interact with light in unique ways, to give off different-colored light or to create electrons and holes, due partly to their tiny size, partly to their shape and partly to the material they're made of.
Scientists have studied quantum dots for more than a decade, with an eye toward using them in medical tests, chemical sensors and other devices.
One way towards cheaper solar cells is to make them out of quantum dots. Prior research by others has shown that four-legged quantum dots, which are called tetrapods, are many times more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity than regular quantum dots.
But, Wong said the problem is that there is still no good way of producing tetrapods.
Current methods lead to a lot of particles with uneven-length arms, crooked arms, and even missing arms. Even in the best recipe, 30 percent of the prepared particles are not tetrapods, he said. (clip)
"One of the major bottlenecks in developing tetrapod-based solar cell devices has been removed, namely the unavailability of high-quality tetrapods of the cadmium selenide kind," Wong said. "We might be able to make high-quality nanoshapes of other compositions also, using this new synthesis chemistry."
Over and and over, I have often heard it said,
There is no "one" silver bullet.
It's repeated in renewable circles like a mantra.
Instead of dilly dallying around with so many other
never ending non-solutions to the challenges we face,