Australian nanotechnology breakthrough with implications for solar cell technology.

Australian researchers at the University of Wollongong have made a discovery that may have important implications for solar cell technology.

Researchers at the University of Wollongong have discovered a process that will easily allow large scale processing of graphene material for a number of applications.

Since 2004, researchers around the world have been excited by the potential of graphene, to replace the expensive and scarce indium oxide used on electrodes. In the race to make solar cells cheaper and more efficient, researchers have been exploiting nanotechnology and materials that are on the scale of an atom. Nanowek had reported on this race last month positing that “this has made the search for novel transparent electrode materials with good stability, high transparency and excellent conductivity a crucial goal for optoelectronic researchers.” German researchers had used ultra-thin transparent conductive graphene films as window electrodes in solar cells but the problem lay in cost-effective, simple ways of processing large amounts of the graphene sheets.

The Wollongong team’s findings, reported in Nature Nanotechnology stated that ” a prerequisite for exploiting most proposed applications for graphene is the availability of processable graphene sheets in large quantities” and that their breakthrough would make it “possible to process graphene materials using low-cost solution processing techniques, opening up enormous opportunities to use this unique carbon nanostructure for many technological applications.”

An ABC report quoted Professor Gordon Wallace from the University of Wollongong as saying that “it’s actually a really simple discovery but with fairly significant implications. The very unusual electronic properties of graphene sheets means they could be used in solar cells or new battery technology,” Professor Wallace said.

Once again Australian researchers have made groundbreaking discoveries that could progress the the application of Solar energy. This has to be good news in the battle to make renewable sources of energy more widely and cheaply available and so overcome the effects of climate change.

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~ by abstraktbiblos on Wednesday, 30 January, 2008.

One Response to “Australian nanotechnology breakthrough with implications for solar cell technology.”

  1. Making Graphene layers at room temperature and normal pressure: http://www.keshetechnologies.com/home.html . See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLaZnjk23HU

    Dirk

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