Oregon State Uses Microwave to Produce Nanoparticles for Solar Cells
August 27, 2012 3:43 PM
comment(s) - last by
CZTS cells offer a cheap alternative to indium thin films
The hunt for inexpensive thin films for solar cells is a hot topic of current research.
Today, solar power has many downsides -- polycrystalline silicon panels are fragile (non-bendable) and relative expensive -- plus they're limited in efficiency, without failure-prone concentrating technology. But more durable, efficient thin film cells can be even more expensive.
Oregon State University
(OSU) have published
[abstract] in the peer-reviewed journal
Physica Status Solidi A
detailing a production method for Cu
(CZTS) cells. CZTS cells are much cheaper than the indium based thin film cells that dominate current production. But producing the CZTS nanoparticles necessary has been a time consuming (and hence expensive) process.
Traditionally heating is accomplished by radiating coils or other mechanisms, but researchers at OSU dreamt up an innovative solution -- using microwaves to rapidly react the ingredients.
The microwave raised the solution temperature to 190 deg. Celsius for 30 min. The resulting cells efficiency was 0.25 percent.
[abstract] has shown 7.2% efficient cells produce with conventional (225 deg. Celsius) heating, with a similar (30 min.) heating time.
But the OSU team suggests the microwave heating process is cheaper and could eventually be reduced to "seconds".
the senior author,
Associate Professor Greg Herman
, "This approach should save money, work well and be easier to scale up at commercial levels, compared to traditional synthetic methods. Microwave technology offers more precise control over heat and energy to achieve the desired reactions."
OSU has showed promising results with microwave produced cells.
Physica Status Solidi A
The team says the previous (7.2% efficient) study got better results largely because the nanoparticles were produced in vacuum to eliminate impurities that occur when producing in a reactive atmosphere.
The team is bullish on CZTS cells, with Professor Herman commenting, "All of the elements used in this new compound are benign and inexpensive, and should have good solar cell performance. Several companies are already moving in this direction as prices continue to rise for some alternative compounds that contain more expensive elements like indium. With some improvements in its solar efficiency this new compound should become very commercially attractive."
The work was funded by Sharp Laboratories of America (a Sharp Corp. (
) property), the
Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute
, and the
Oregon Process Innovation Center for Sustainable Solar Cell Manufacturing
(Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies) signature research facility. Oregon BEST is a nonprofit research effort authorized by Oregon's legislature.
Physica Status Solidi A [abstract]
Oregon State [press release]
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: What is all this nanparticle crap?
8/27/2012 11:44:28 PM
Tell that to your computer.
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Commercial Drones to Get Privacy Guidelines Via Executive Order
July 25, 2014, 5:34 PM
Pentagon's Priciest Project, F-35, Misses International Debut
July 25, 2014, 10:18 AM
Most Popular Articles
Lumia 830 Gets Major Upgrades Including New 20.1 Megapixel Toshiba Sensor
August 15, 2014, 6:00 PM
Windows Phone, BlackBerry Smartphone Market Share Falls to 2.5%, 0.5% Respectively
August 15, 2014, 9:44 AM
GM Concedes That the Cadillac ELR Doesn’t Really Compete with the Tesla Model S
August 15, 2014, 5:42 PM
Cell Phone Thief Calls 911 After Her Victim Chases Her and Her Male Cohort
August 14, 2014, 12:11 PM
Smarter Wired, Wireless Chargers Set to Shake Up Mobile Industry
August 14, 2014, 6:39 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information