Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hybrid Materials For Future Solar Cells

05.11.2008
The Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados en Nanociencia (IMDEA Nanoscience) collaborates together with the University of Hamburg in the development of composite materials based on semiconductor nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes as functional materials for efficient light emitting diodes and photovoltaic devices.

Semiconductor nanocrystals or also called quantum dots exhibit outstanding optical properties compared to organic dyes. Due to the quantum confinement their emission color can be continuously tuned from the ultraviolet to the near infrared range by changing the size and chemical composition.

They exhibit a broad absorption spectrum, a narrow emission band and large absorption cross sections. Their surface can be covered by a few monolayers of different semiconductor materials in such a way that we can either improve their luminescent properties and stability or avoid the fluorescence to obtain charge carriers. The latter effect opens tremendous alternatives in photovoltaics. Due to their optical properties, semiconductor nanoparticles are studied in different disciplines, from optics to biomedicine.

Thanks to a remarkable effort in the synthetic activities in the last 20 years, we can nowadays produce nanoparticles of different materials controlling their size, shape, and surface properties. Examples of nanoparticles produced by non hydrolytic colloidal synthetic methods are CdS, CdTe, InP, GaAs, PbS, or PbSe. However, the most studied system is CdSe, with tunable emission from blue to red. Due to the synthetic approach (hot injection method), the surface of these nanoparticles is capped with an organic shell that protects them and makes them stable in non-polar organic solvents. It is also possible to controllably replace the initial organic shell for water compatible ones. The organic shell plays a relevant role in the quantum efficiency of the nanoparticles and their stability in different media. However, this shell prevents high electrical conduction.

Carbon nanotubes are another example of nanomaterials with extraordinary electrical properties. They consist of one or several rolled up graphene layers. In the case of a single layer they are called single-wall and multi-wall when several layers are rolled-up. Hybrid materials composed of semiconductor nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes combine the high absorption properties of the former and the high electrical conductivity of the latter. One of the main drawbacks in the formation of such hybrid structures focuses on the type of interaction between them. Most of the existing procedures involve the growth of nanoparticles on previous defect sites provoked on the surface or edges of carbon nanotubes by aggressive chemical means. These aggressive treatments render an oxidized nanotube surface or even structural damage that deteriorates their outstanding electrical, mechanical, and optical properties significantly. Thus, supramolecular or electrostatic functionalisations are better approaches for photovoltaic applications.

Dr Beatriz H. Juárez, from IMDEA Nanoscience, works on the preparation of hybrid materials with high coverage without modifying the electrical properties of the tubes. Furthermore, the monodispersity of the nanoparticles with high crystallographic quality and a close contact between nanoparticles and nanotubes are also under investigation. The composites show photoelectrical response, injecting charge carriers in the nanotubes upon nanoparticle excitation. Although in an initial stage, the results obtained up to now points out the high potential of these composites to build up photovoltaic devices and solar cells.

B. H. Juárez, C. Klinke, A. Kornowski, H. Weller, Nano Letters, 2007, 7, 3564

IMDEA | alfa
Further information:
http://www.imdea.org

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms
17.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht New functional principle to generate the „third harmonic“
16.02.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>