Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

Study: Iron Pyrite is No Fool's Gold for Solar Manufacturers

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released a study this week concluding that the solar industry could use many cheaper and more abundant alternatives to silicon, including iron pyrite — most commonly known as fool’s gold.


In total, the researchers found 23 alternative semiconductors, but only 12 are more easily found than silicon. Iron pyrite was named the most probable solution among those 12. Solar producers have often faced shortages of silicon, so even one new material would be a welcome jolt for the industry.

“We started looking at new materials because people often assume solar will be the dominant energy source of the future,” said Cyrus Wadia, who led the study. “But current solar technology may not get us there in a time frame that is meaningful, if at all. We must turn our attention back to basic science research if we are to solve the problem.”

Silicon alternatives already exist in thin-film solar panels made from cadmium telluride or copper indium gallium selenide, both of which are also extremely limited resources.

Via: Business Green
Photo Credit: anglerp1 on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

is primarily concerned with animal welfare, wildlife conservation, and environmental justice. As a freelance writer in San Francisco, he leads a deliberately simplistic and thrifty lifestyle, yet still can’t help gawking at the newest green gadgets and zero-emission concept cars.


You May Also Like


Group14 has secured a $400 million investment from Porsche that will help build a new factory for its silicon-anode batteries.


Tiny Luxembourg aims to dominate the graphene nanotube market for next-generation EV batteries and other sustainable tech.


This episode of CleanTech Talk is part two of a recent conversation I had with RK Equity cofounder Howard Klein. You can listen to...


Scientists show exactly how promising approach to better batteries breaks down.

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.