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ENERGY NEWS
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‘Electrode Barrier’ Broken for Organic Solar Cells
AMHERST, Mass., Sept. 19, 2014 — A new organic solar cell has broken the “electrode barrier” known to hamper efforts to enhance efficiency. A team from the University of Massachusetts Amherst developed the cell, which can use virtually any metal as the electrode. Many common metal electrodes can obstruct the power conversion efficiency of organic solar cells, as they are typically unstable and susceptible to oxidation. “The sun produces 7,000 times more energy per day than we can use, but we...

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Nuclear Spins Boost Electric Current in OLEDs
SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 19, 2014 — A spintronic approach has been used to power plastic organic LEDs at room temperature and without strong magnetic fields. “We have shown we can use room-temperature, plastic electronic devices that allow us to see the orientation of...
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Video: Battery Lead Gains New Life in Solar Panels
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 8, 2014 — Dead auto batteries may be able to keep on truckin’ as long-lasting solar panels. Researchers at MIT are developing a system based on organolead halide perovskite, a technology that uses lead from raw ores in solar cell manufacturing....

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Carbon Nanotubes Get Better as Solar Cells
EVANSTON, Ill., Sept. 4, 2014 — A new type of carbon nanotube has taken a “big jump” beyond its predecessors in solar cell applications. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT), developed by a team from Northwestern University’s McCormick School of...
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Polymers Bring Future Solar Cells
LEIOA, Spain, Sept. 4, 2014 — A polymer-based technique could lead to production of highly efficient solar cells. A team from IK4-Ikerlan and the University of the Basque Country used polymers that absorb light at different wavelengths to produce solar cells with a...

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Forecast: Worldwide Solar Capacity to Reach 66 GW by 2019
BOSTON, Aug. 26, 2014 — The global solar power industry will grow to a capacity of 65.6 gigawatt-peak (GWp) by 2019, with China at the forefront, the market analysis firm Lux Research predicts. Worldwide solar power capacity stood at a 37.5 GWp in 2013, meaning...
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Hydrogen Produced Using Photosynthetic Blueprint
CANBERRA, Australia, Aug. 26, 2014 — Researchers have artificially replicated steps of photosynthesis to produce hydrogen as a zero-carbon replacement for petroleum products. A team from Australian National University modified the naturally occurring protein ferritin to...

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Semi-Artificial Photovoltaics Surpassing Photosynthesis
BOCHUM, Germany, Aug. 22, 2014 — Semi-artificial leaves could function as photovoltaic systems, and with unprecedented performance. In leaves, the membrane protein complex photosystem I (PS I) absorbs light, and its energy is utilized for converting carbon dioxide into...
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Imaging Shows Bubbles Could Make Energy-Efficient Nanoparticles
PRINCETON, N.J., Aug. 20, 2014 — High-speed cameras and UV-sensitive materials are helping advance understanding of bubbles — which could mean big things for nanoparticles. In fact, a system in which bubbles mix liquids is an energy-efficient route toward producing...

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Spectroscopy Tests for Best Organic Photovoltaics
TSUKUBA, Japan, Aug. 19, 2014 — Spectroscopy may provide a way to identify materials for organic photovoltaics based on their charge formation efficiency. In a recent study of organic solar cells, a team at the University of Tsukuba and the National Institute for...
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Atwater and Polman Receive the Julius Springer Prize
BERLIN, Aug. 8, 2014 — Harry Atwater and Albert Polman received the annual Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics; they were honored for their achievements in plasmonics and nanophotonics. Atwater and Polman have pioneered the use of metallic nanostructures...

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Highest Conversion Efficiency Reached
TEMPE, Ariz., Aug. 7, 2014 — First Solar Inc. announced it has set a record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic research cell conversion efficiency. The record has been documented in the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory "Best...
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Hybrid ‘Wonder Material’ Creates Efficient LEDs
CAMBRIDGE, England, OXFORD, England, and MUNICH, Aug. 7, 2014 — A new type of perovskite — touted as a “wonder material” — has been used to create a new type of LED that has the potential to create more efficient light sources than those that rely on conventional solar cells. A...

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California Engineers Awarded $1.7 Million Grant
RIVERSIDE, Calif., Aug. 6, 2014 — A research team of University of California, Riverside engineers was awarded a $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation to characterize, analyze and synthesize ultrathin film materials. The project will focus on practical...
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New Material Allows for Ultra-Thin Solar Cells
WIEN, Austria, August 5, 2014 — A new structure that combines atomic-layered semiconductor materials could pave the way to more efficient solar cells. Researchers from the Vienna University of Technology created the new structure, which merges together two semiconductor...

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Quantum Dots Market Could Hit $8,246.8M by 2023
ALBANY, N.Y., Aug. 4, 2014 — The global quantum dots market is growing and experts project it could reach $8,246.8 million by 2023. A recently released Transparency Market Research report focuses on the analysis, size, share, growth, trends and forecasts for the global...
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Self-Cooling Solar Cells Boost Efficiency
STANFORD, Calif., July 24, 2014 — A new technique allows solar cells to passively cool themselves by driving away unwanted thermal radiation. Developed by a team from Stanford University, the new solar cells offer high efficiency and more longevity than conventional cells...

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Novel Laser Could Transmit Quantum Data
HANOVER, N.H., July 23, 2014 — A laser made from a superconducting artificial atom could aid information transfer in quantum computing. To create the laser, a team from Dartmouth College embedded a pair of electrons called a Cooper pair in a high-quality microwave...
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Pickering Chooses Japanese Representative
CLACTON-ON-SEA, Essex, England, July 23, 2014 — Pickering Interfaces Ltd. has chosen Andor System Support Co. Ltd. of Tokyo as its new representative in Japan. Pickering designs and manufactures modular optical and electronic signal switching and instrumentation for use in test and...

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'Air Waveguides' Function Like Optical Fibers
COLLEGE PARK, Md., July 22, 2014 — A team from the University of Maryland has discovered how to make air behave like optical fiber, guiding light beams over short distances without losing power. Using “air waveguides” the researchers have been able to enhance...
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Solar Energy Researcher wins $10,000 Award
EDISON, N.J., July 18, 2014 — Theresa McCormick has been awarded the Spring 2014 Equipment Grant Competition, along with $10,000 from Horiba Scientific (formerly Photon Technology International). McCormick is a professor at Portland State University where her research...

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Glass Lends Flexibility to Organic PVs
POTSDAM, Germany, July 10, 2014 — A new carrier substrate made from flexible, 100-µm-thin layers of glass better protects organic solar modules and could simplify their manufacture. A team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research is developing...
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Process Combines Arc, Laser Welding
HANNOVER, Germany, July 8, 2014 — A new hybrid laser welding technique could reduce processing time and costs associated with manufacturing tanks and pipelines for liquid gas. The hybrid welding process forms a very narrow welding seam, seen here in an aluminum welding...

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Researchers Probe Inner Workings of Solar Panels
MONTREAL, July 3, 2014 — Using femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy (SRS), scientists now understand the inner workings of plastic solar panels. A team from the University of Montreal, in conjunction with England’s Science and Technology Facilities...
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Solar Cell Converts CO2 into Useful Acid
PRINCETON, N.J., July 3, 2014 — Researchers at Princeton University have found a way to convert carbon dioxide into a potential fuel with record efficiency. The study, lead by chemistry professor Dr. Andrew Bocarsly, involved converting CO2 and water into formic acid...






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