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Liquid Solar Cells Could One Day be as Cheap as Paint
Posted By Tafline Laylin On May 15, 2013 @ 1:30 pm In carousel showcase,clean tech,News,Solar Power | No Comments
Researchers at SUNY Buffalo  are working on a new generation of liquid solar cells  that may one day be as cheap as paint. Although they would be significantly less efficient than conventional solar cells made with either amorphous silicon  or cadmium telluride, these new plasmonic-enhanced photovoltaic solar cells containing metal nanoparticles are less costly to produce and can be applied to much bigger surfaces.
Writing in the journal Advanced Materials , lead researcher Qiaoqiang Gan from the University at Buffalo outlines the benefits of using metal nanoparticles to increase the efficiency with which liquid solar cells convert light energy into electrical energy. For the cells to be even close to viable for the market, they need to reach a conversion rate of at least 10 percent, according to Gan.
The research team is getting close to meeting this goal with the help of plasmonics – an emergent solar development that could make solar power accessible to a broader audience.
“Plasmons are electromagnetic waves and free electrons that can be used to oscillate back and forth across the interface of metals and semiconductors,” writes Gan and co-authors, who argue that “there should be a renewed focus on how nanomaterials  and plasmonic strategies can create more efficient and affordable thin-film organic solar cells.”
Via Cleantechnica 
Lead image via University at Buffalo, image of paint roller via Restyling Home by Kelly 
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URLs in this post:
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=512625
 SUNY Buffalo: http://inhabitat.com/tag/suny-buffalo/
 a new generation of liquid solar cells: http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2013/05/018.html
 silicon: http://inhabitat.com/dark-silicon-could-boost-smartphone-battery-life-11-x/
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=512624
 Advanced Materials: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1521-4095
 nanomaterials: http://inhabitat.com/tag/nanoparticles/
 Cleantechnica: http://cleantechnica.com/2013/05/15/caution-wet-solar-power-new-affordable-solar-paint-research/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IM-cleantechnica+%28CleanTechnica%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
 Restyling Home by Kelly: http://www.restylinghomebykellyblog.com
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