Sandra Henderson

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...
Jul 012018
 
Groundbreaking findings of a study conducted at the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, contributes to a better fundamental understanding of how alloys behave at high temperatures, which could help researchers to develop improved materials and advanced technologies.  High-temperature oxidation and high-performance alloys The paper, titled “Interplay of water and reactive elements in oxidation of alumina-forming alloys,” published in Nature Materials, states that...
Jun 032018
 
Scientists at the Ludwig Maximilian Universität (LMU Munich) in Munich, Germany, have discovered a phenomenon in the optical excitation of charge carriers in a solar semiconductor that could aid the exploitation of infrared light, which is normally lost in solar cells. This “optical overtones” effect could lead to more efficient conversion of optical energy in perovskite nanocrystals. Until now, scientists knew to enhance the conversion efficiency of light into usable electric...
May 162018
 
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the US have developed a nanoresonator coating based on an optical version of a whispering gallery, which describes the phenomenon of sound waves traveling around a concave surface, such as the dome of St Paul's Cathedral in London, perhaps the most famous example of a whispering gallery. The antireflection coating comprises thousands of nanoscale glass beads that trap the light around their curved surface, enabling...
Apr 232018
 
Though the layout of these efficient thin-film solar cells is relatively simple, the material properties are very complex and, despite their success, not yet entirely understood. For two decades, scientists have believed that adding sodium to the core of these devices makes it more difficult for the indium and the gallium to homogenize.  A new study led by the University of Luxembourg shows, however, that this long-held assumption is only true if the film is composed of many crystals. The...