Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

Controlled Placement Of Carbon Nanotubes Creates Big Boost In Solar Cell Performance

Solar cells can receive a big boost to their performance via the use of specially designed nano-engineered carbon nanotubes networks, according to new research from Umeå University in Sweden.

While it’s long been predicted that carbon nanotubes could aid in the boosting of solar cell performance, barriers to their effective implementation have remained. For instance, carbon nanotubes need to be assembled into well-ordered networks of interconnecting nanotubes in order to function optimally — something that has, until now, remained something of an issue. That’s where this new work comes in.

SWNT nano-networks. Image Credit: Umeå universitet

SWNT nano-networks. Image Credit: Umeå universitet

This work is some of the first to show that “carbon nanotubes can be engineered into complex network architectures, and with controlled nano-scale dimensions inside a polymer matrix.”

“We have found that the resulting nano networks possess exceptional ability to transport charges, up to 100 million times higher than previously measured carbon nanotube random networks produced by conventional methods,” states Dr David Barbero, leader of the project and assistant professor at the Department of Physics at Umeå University.

The press release from Umeå University provides some background:

Carbon nanotubes, CNTs, are one dimensional nanoscale cylinders made of carbon atoms that possess very unique properties. For example, they have very high tensile strength and exceptional electron mobility, which make them very attractive for the next generation of organic and carbon-based electronic devices.

There is an increasing trend of using carbon based nanostructured materials as components in solar cells. Due to their exceptional properties, carbon nanotubes are expected to enhance the performance of current solar cells through efficient charge transport inside the device.

This new method from Umeå University also has another significant advantage over other ‘conventional’ methods of using carbon nanotubes though, it uses considerably less of them, which, when you consider their relatively high cost, is certainly something important to note.

The new findings are detailed in a paper published in the journal Advanced Materials.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? 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

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


You May Also Like

Autonomous Vehicles

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a breakthrough in energy-efficient phototransistors. Such devices could eventually help...


Three of the top companies in EV battery world had some notable news at the end of April that never saw the light of...

Clean Power

The energy-water nexus could take an interesting turn if a new hydrogel doped with carbon nanotubes jumpstarts a solar cell efficiency revolution.

Clean Power

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have found proof that efficient solar cells could be made from low cost

Copyright © 2021 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.