Focus: Nanotube Bundles Show Promise for Solar Cells



Focus: Nanotube Bundles Show Promise for Solar Cells
http://physics.aps.org/articles/v4/108

Solar electricity generation may someday be cheaper with so-called thin-film photovoltaics than with conventional materials, but the thin-film systems are currently much less efficient. Researchers publishing in Physical Review Letters have now shown that bundles of carbon nanotubes—cylinders of pure carbon—have the potential to dramatically increase that efficiency. Using high-speed spectroscopy, they found that the bundles can perform the two main required functions—generating charged-particle pairs and allowing the pairs to separate. Today’s thin-film solar cells, which are layered structures, can’t perform both functions in a single material, which leads to reduced efficiency. The team is hopeful that their work will lead to practical, nanotube-based, thin-film solar cells with high efficiency.

See: http://physics.aps.org/articles/v4/108
.