Sandra Henderson

Jan 072019
 
For the first time, researchers at Lund University in Sweden have used advanced molecule design to create an iron molecule that can function as a photocatalyst to produce fuels as well as in solar cells to produce electricity.  The Earth-abundant — and therefore much cheaper — iron could replace the rare and very expensive metal complexes used thus far, such as the noble metals ruthenium, osmium and iridium. Long live the excited iron complex We are talking nanoseconds:...
Dec 312018
 
Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) in Germany have achieved a record 25.5% conversion efficiency in a perovskite-silicon tandem solar cell after adding a microstructured foil over the perovskite layer to optimize the light management. Tandem solar cells could be one possible way to overcome the theoretical limit of the efficiency of silicon solar cells, which are still dominating the market. But while tandem devices made from combinations of silicone and GaInP or GaAs, for...
Nov 282018
 
Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and the University of Wuppertal, both in Germany, have developed a new atomic layer deposition (ALD) process for transparent ultra-thin silver films that overcomes the challenges of traditional chemical methods for producing ultra-thin and pure silver films and promises to boost the efficiency of solar cells and light-emitting diodes. The new fabrication process The new method for synthesizing transparent ultra-thin silver films is based on a...
Nov 262018
 
Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science in Japan have developed a solar-powered, ultraflexible organic sensor that can act as an autonomously powered heart monitor taped to the skin. The technology could also catalyze high-performance ultraflexible organic photovoltaics (OPVs). The team had previously developed a flexible photovoltaic cell that could be incorporated into textiles. Now, they have directly integrated a sensory device into a flexible organic solar cell. The...
Sep 282018
 
A photoelectrode developed by researchers at Hokkaido University, Japan, can harvest more than a surprising 85% of visible light across a wide spectral range by using a 30-nanometer titanium dioxide (TiO2) thin-film semiconductor sandwiched between a 100-nanometer gold film and loaded with gold nanoparticles to enhance light absorption. At first, the team had studied the decomposition of water by visible light irradiation with a plasmon-induced water-splitting system based on the localized...
Sep 102018
 
Materials scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have set a new power conversion efficiency record with a conventional CIGS solar cell by depositing an inexpensive perovskite layer atop the original device, boosting its performance by nearly 20%.  Highly efficient thin-film solar cell in double-layer design The researchers sprayed a thin layer of the inexpensive lead-iodine compound (perovskite) onto a conventional, commercially available...
Aug 072018
 
New findings by researchers from the University of Potsdam and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) could revolutionize the design of perovskite solar cells. Photoluminescence techniques with high precision, spatial and temporal resolution allowed extremely accurate measurements on 1-square-centimeter perovskite cells, which enabled the teams to identify the decisive loss processes in perovskite solar cells that limit the efficiency. To determine where these defects were located within the...
Aug 032018
 
A technique discovered by researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK allows to move excited charges through a non-uniform energy-gap landscape. This effect could make solar cells three times more efficient by “funneling” the electrons and holes so they can be extracted from the semiconductor more efficiently.  “Such energy gradient is realized by inducing a non-uniform strain gradient in the semiconductor — that is, by ‘pulling’ the material in a...
Jul 312018
 
Combining autonomous soaring and onboard solar power, new technology developed at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) allows unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to fly for more than 12 hours.  The solar-soaring technology uses both thermal energy in the atmosphere and solar energy. “NRL is pioneering two new aspects,” says Dr Dan Edwards, senior aerospace engineer in the NRL’s Tactical Electronic Warfare Division. “First, the solar arrays are co-molded into...
Jul 252018
 
Singapore has positioned itself as knowledge hub for floating PV. The city-state’s Housing and Developing Board HDB), the leading agency spearheading solar initiatives and accelerating solar adoption in Singapore, is presently researching the sea as a potential space for floating photovoltaics.  Singapore has already launched the world’s largest floating PV testbed on Tengeh Reservoir in Tuas, with a total installed capacity of around 1 mwp. The testbed aims to study the...