Taz Loomans

New 'Nano Shish Kebab' Semiconductor Could Lead to Greater Solar Cell Efficiency

by , 02/21/13

north carolina state university, nano shish kebab, germanium sulfide, GeS, 3D solar cells, next-generation sensors, super capacitors, photodetectors, nucleation sites, two-dimensional nano-sheets, first nano-material to consist of 2D and 3D structures with shared crystalline structure, nanowire, nanosheets, molybdenum sulfide, MoS2, solar cell efficiency, solar cell technology

Researchers at North Carolina State University just made a nano shish kebab out of germanium sulfide (GeS) crystals – but it’s not for the world’s smallest barbecue. Instead, the first-of-its-kind nano-structure could lead to the development of 3-D solar cells and next-generation sensors, supercapacitors, and photodetectors.

north carolina state university, nano shish kebab, germanium sulfide, GeS, 3D solar cells, next-generation sensors, super capacitors, photodetectors, nucleation sites, two-dimensional nano-sheets, first nano-material to consist of 2D and 3D structures with shared crystalline structure, nanowire, nanosheets, molybdenum sulfide, MoS2, solar cell efficiency, solar cell technology

To create the nano-shish-kebabs, researchers first made a GeS nanowire about 100 nanometers in width. Then they exposed it to air, which causes nucleation sites to form on the wire surface due to weak oxidation. After that, they exposed the wire to GeS vapor, resulting in the formation of two-dimensional nanosheets at each of the nucleation sites. This is the first engineered nano-material made of one-dimensional and two-dimensional forms with a shared crystalline structure.

According to the research report, “Combining the nanowire and nanosheets into a single ‘heterostructure’ creates a material with both a large surface area and — because GeS is a semiconductor — the ability to transfer electric charges efficiently. The nanosheets provide a very large surface area, and the nanowire acts as a channel that can transmit charges between the nanosheets or from the nanosheets to another surface.”

This same type of heterostructure could be constructed by using other materials whose molecules have the same kind of crystalline layers, such as molybdenum sulfide (MoS2). MoS2 could perform better than GeS in electronic applications, especially in photovoltaic cells, which makes this new discovery very promising in the quest to increase solar cell efficiency.

+ North Carolina State University

Via Clean Technica

Images via North Carolina State University

Related Posts

LEAVE A COMMENT

or your inhabitat account below

Let's make sure you're a real person:


  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
What are you looking for? (Solar, HVAC, etc.)
Where are you located?