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Solar Panel Breakthrough April 1, 2013

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, In The News, Science & Technology.
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A novel fabrication technique developed by a University of Connecticut engineering professor could provide the breakthrough technology scientists have been looking for to vastly improve the efficiency of today’s solar energy systems.

Silicon solar panels have a single band gap which, loosely speaking, allows the panel to convert electromagnetic radiation efficiently at only one small portion of the solar spectrum. The rectenna devices don’t rely on a band gap and may be tuned to harvest light over the whole solar spectrum, creating maximum efficiency.

The nano-antennas – known as “rectennas” because of their ability to both absorb and rectify solar energy from alternating current to direct current – must be capable of operating at the speed of visible light and be built in such a way that their core pair of electrodes is a mere 1 or 2 nanometers apart, a distance of approximately one millionth of a millimeter, or 30,000 times smaller than the diameter of human hair.

The potential breakthrough lies in a novel fabrication process called selective area atomic layer deposition (ALD) that was developed by Brian Willis, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Connecticut and the former director of UConn’s Chemical Engineering Program.

The atomic layer deposition process is favored by science and industry because it is simple, easily reproducible, and scalable for mass production. Willis says the chemical process is particularly applicable for precise, homogenous coatings for nanostructures, nanowires, nanotubes, and for use in the next generation of high-performing semi-conductors and transistors.

“Until the advent of selective atomic layer deposition (ALD), it has not been possible to fabricate practical and reproducible rectenna arrays that can harness solar energy from the infrared through the visible

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-patented-fabrication-technique-key-solar.html#jCp

“Until the advent of selective atomic layer deposition (ALD), it has not been possible to fabricate practical and reproducible rectenna arrays that can harness solar energy from the infrared through the visible

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-patented-fabrication-technique-key-solar.html#jCp

Silicon solar panels, by comparison, have a single band gap which, loosely speaking, allows the panel to convert electromagnetic radiation efficiently at only one small portion of the solar spectrum. The rectenna devices don’t rely on a band gap and may be tuned to harvest light over the whole solar spectrum, creating maximum efficiency.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-patented-fabrication-technique-key-solar.html#jCp

Silicon solar panels, by comparison, have a single band gap which, loosely speaking, allows the panel to convert electromagnetic radiation efficiently at only one small portion of the solar spectrum. The rectenna devices don’t rely on a band gap and may be tuned to harvest light over the whole solar spectrum, creating maximum efficiency.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-patented-fabrication-technique-key-solar.html#jCp

Silicon solar panels, by comparison, have a single band gap which, loosely speaking, allows the panel to convert electromagnetic radiation efficiently at only one small portion of the solar spectrum. The rectenna devices don’t rely on a band gap and may be tuned to harvest light over the whole solar spectrum, creating maximum efficiency.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-patented-fabrication-technique-key-solar.html#jCp

Silicon solar panels, by comparison, have a single band gap which, loosely speaking, allows the panel to convert electromagnetic radiation efficiently at only one small portion of the solar spectrum. The rectenna devices don’t rely on a band gap and may be tuned to harvest light over the whole solar spectrum, creating maximum efficiency.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-patented-fabrication-technique-key-solar.html#jCp

Silicon solar panels, by comparison, have a single band gap which, loosely speaking, allows the panel to convert electromagnetic radiation efficiently at only one small portion of the solar spectrum. The rectenna devices don’t rely on a band gap and may be tuned to harvest light over the whole solar spectrum, creating maximum efficiency.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-patented-fabrication-technique-key-solar.html#jCp

via New patented fabrication technique key to new solar power technology.

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