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 Pulses of electrons manipulate nanomagnets and store information
21.07.2017 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion
21.07.2017 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

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: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>