Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Photovoltaics with Nanotubes

06.11.2012
Researchers of the University of Würzburg are significantly involved in the new European collaborative project POCAONTAS. They intend to develop novel materials for photovoltaics from carbon nanotubes. The project is funded by the European Union with EUR 3.5 million.
The conversion of solar energy into electrical power plays a major role in the successful transition to renewable energy sources. Although conventional silicon solar cells have come to be highly efficient, their production is expensive and consumes a lot of energy. Therefore, it is certainly worthwhile to look for alternatives.

Properties of the material are promising

For this reason, a new research network is going to determine which materials are suitable for the photovoltaics of the future. Tiny tubes of pure carbon that are arranged into larger structures seem to be excellent candidates: "This material has many properties holding considerable promise for a highly efficient energy conversion," says Professor Tobias Hertel of the University of Würzburg.

The material is interesting for photovoltaics due to its great stability and exceptionally high electron mobility. It also has a light absorption spectrum – not easily attainable by any other materials – that is very suitable for energy conversion.

The researcher's objectives

"Although we have been working in the field of organic photovoltaics for years, our first experiments with the high-grade nanotubes didn't fail to thrill and motivate us," recounts Hertel's Würzburg project partner, Professor Vladimir Dyakonov.

The scientists now intend to further explore the photovoltaic potential of carbon nanotube polymer composites. Special focus is put on the development of socalled functional composite systems. The properties of these systems are to be analyzed with cutting-edge spectroscopic methods.

Training of young researchers important

Apart from the research, the training of doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers in science and industry is an essential objective of the project. On their respective location, the project partners offer courses, industrial internships and workshops in order to provide young researchers with expert knowledge and to prepare them for an academic career.

Project partners and coordination

The project is called POCAONTAS (Polymer-Carbon Nanotubes Active Systems for Photovoltaics). Apart from the Würzburg study groups of Professor Tobias Hertel (chemistry) and Professor Vladimir Dyakonov (physics), it includes further research groups from Munich and five other European countries. Several companies, including two from Bavaria, and the Bavarian Research Alliance have also joined in. The project is coordinated by Professor Larry Lüer (Madrid).

Under the "Initial Training Network" program, the European Union will fund the project with altogether EUR 3.5 million over a period of four years, starting from 1 November 2012. According to Professor Hertel, there is a fierce competition for the funds: "Only very few projects that have been recognized as excellent receive such grants."

Contact person

Prof. Dr. Tobias Hertel, Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry of the University of Würzburg, T +49 (0)931 31-86300, tobias.hertel@uni-wuerzburg.de

Gunnar Bartsch | Uni Würzburg
Further information:
http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Tracing aromatic molecules in the early universe
23.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht New study maps space dust in 3-D
23.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>