Carbon Nanotubes and Solar Cells: A Winning Combination

Carbon nanotubes and solar cells go together like peanut butter and jelly. There has long been speculation that the properties of carbon nanotubes would help solar cells. Even I suggested they should be combined. Now researchers from the University of Notre Dame have given us a beautiful proof of principle for many of the things I have ranted about for the past few years. The carbon nanotubes provide the structure that is needed on the molecular level to organize the 'capture' and 'delivery' of electrons in 3 dimensional space. The nanotubes line up along the electrode, and in turn the TiO2 'self assembles' (or loosely templates) with the nanotubes. This arrangement creates a vastly more direct path for the flow of electrons (Constructal Theory). The next step is to create a better 'capture' mechanism, as TiO2 by itself only absorbs UV light. The researchers are interested in using dyes or quantum dots- my vote would be for more molecular structure between a dye (like plants-Biomimicry) and the Tio2. We have featured companies such as Dyesol, that already have the experience of using TiO2 and dye as a major component of their solar technology. Using inexpensive non-toxic materials is a primary goal for creating sustainable solar technology- and this research moves us one step closer to realizing that dream. ::Thanks to Hugg (Jiltedcitizen) :: Technology Review

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