Nanotubular belles

A breakthrough development in photovoltaic (PV) cell nanotechnology at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) has scientists looking forward to the possibility of manufacturing solar panels that generate electricity more cheaply and more efficiently than the present crop of conventional crystalline silicon (cSi) or cadmium telluride PV cells.

BRISTOL: ANL has been working to refine the design of a so-called hybrid solar cell - in which less-expensive organic and inorganic semiconducting materials are combined to create electricity - that would solve many of the shortcomings hampering commercialisation of current hybrid technologies.

"The potential of solar power will always be limited until its levelised cost of energy is equivalent to, say, coal," says ANL assistant scientist Seth Darling. "So the challenge now - given that, generally speaking, the low-cost materials and processes are too inefficient in terms of how Log in to read complete article.

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