Commercial products such as laptop computer monitors and solar-powered calculators are constructed from a light-sensitive material with a peculiar problem: When exposed to intense light, it forms defects, reducing the efficiency of the solar cells by 10 to 15 percent.
Scientists have been pondering this flaw since the 1970s, because the material – hydrogenated amorphous silicon, or a-Si:H – has important applications for solar energy generation. A new study reported in the June 13 issue of the journal Applied Physics Letters, however, suggests that Ohio University scientists may have found the root of the problem.
When this photovoltaic material is exposed to intense light, hydrogen atoms move into new arrangements in which some silicon atoms become bonded to two silicon and two hydrogen atoms, creating a structure called silicon dihydride, or SiH2, said David Drabold, Presidential Research Scholar and professor of physics and astronomy at Ohio University, who co-authored the paper with graduate student Tesfaye Abtew and P. C. Taylor, Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Utah.
Andrea Gibson | EurekAlert!
Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake
12.12.2017 | Duke University
Two holograms in one surface
12.12.2017 | California Institute of Technology
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
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