Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Development of low-dimensional nanomaterials could revolutionize future technologies

19.06.2017

Javier Vela, scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, believes improvements in computer processors, TV displays and solar cells will come from scientific advancements in the synthesis of low-dimensional nanomaterials.

Ames Laboratory scientists are known for their expertise in the synthesis and manufacturing of materials of different types, according to Vela, who is also an Iowa State University associate professor of chemistry. In many instances, those new materials are made in bulk form, which means micrometers to centimeters in size. Vela's group is working with tiny, nanometer, or one billionth of a meter sized, nanocrystals.


Some of the inorganic semiconductors under study by Vela and coworkers.

Credit: Ames Laboratory

"We're trying to find out what happens with materials when we go to lower particle sizes, will the materials be enhanced or negatively impacted, or will we find properties that weren't expected," Vela said. "Our goal is to broaden the science of low-dimensional nanomaterials."

In an invited paper published in Chemistry of Materials entitled, "Synthetic Development of Low Dimensional Materials", Vela and coauthors Long Men, Miles White, Himashi Andaraarachchi, and Bryan Rosales discussed highlights of some of their most recent work on the synthesis of low dimensional materials.

One of those topics was advancements in the synthesis of germanium-based core-shell nanocrystals. Vela says industry is very interested in semiconducting nanocrystal-based technologies for applications such as solar cells.

Small particle size can affect many things from transport properties (how well a nanocrystal conducts heat and electricity) to optical properties (how strong it interacts with light, absorbs light and emits light). This is especially true in photovoltaic solar cells "Let's say you're using a semiconductor material to make a solar device, there's often different performance when solar cells are made from bulk materials as opposed to when they are made with nanomaterials. Nanomaterials interact with light differently; they absorb it better. That's one way you can manipulate devices and fine tune their performance or power conversion efficiency," said Vela.

Beyond solar cells, Vela says there's tremendous interest in using nanocrystals in quantum dot television and computer displays, optical devices like LEDs (light-emitting diodes), biological imaging, and telecommunications.

He says there are many challenges in this area because depending upon the quality of the nanocrystals used, you can see different emission properties, which can affect the purity of light. "Ultimately the size of the nanocrystals being used can make a huge difference in the cleanliness or crispness of colors in TV and computer displays," said Vela. "Television and computer technology is a multibillion dollar business worldwide, so you can see the potential value our understanding of properties of nanocrystals could bring to these technologies."

In the paper, Vela's group also discussed advancements made in the study of synthesis and spectroscopic characterization of organolead halide perovskites, which Vela says are some of the most promising semiconductors for solar cells because of their low cost and easier processability. He adds photovoltaics made of these materials now reach power conversion efficiencies of greater than 22 percent. Vela's research in this area has focused on mixed-halide perovskites.

He says his group has discovered these materials exhibit interesting chemical and photo physical properties that people hadn't realized before, and now they are trying to better understand the correlation between the structure and chemical composition of perovskites and how they behave in solar cells. "One of our goals is to use what we've learned to help lower the cost of solar cells and produce them more reliably and readily," Vela said.

In addition, Vela's group is studying how to replace lead in traditional organolead halide perovskites with something less toxic, like germanium. "In principle, this is an area that should be much better known, but it's not," said Vela. "When we've been able to substitute germanium for lead, we have been able to produce a lighter perovskite, which he says could positively impact the automotive industry, for example.

"This could have great implications for transportation applications where you don't want a lot of lead because it's so heavy," said Vela. Going forward Vela says his group's focus will be on advancing the science in low-dimensional materials.

"We're not working with well-known materials, but the newest; the most recently discovered," Vela said. "And every time we can advance the science we're one step closer to opportunities for more commercialization, more production, more manufacturing and more jobs in the U.S."

###

This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory operated by Iowa State University. Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global problems.

DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

Steve Karsjen | EurekAlert!

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Cementless fly ash binder makes concrete 'green'
19.06.2018 | Rice University

nachricht Ground-breaking discoveries could create superior alloys with many applications
19.06.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Carbon nanotube optics provide optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries

19.06.2018 | Life Sciences

New material for splitting water

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>