Hot Nanotubes Helping Solar Panels Capture More Sunlight


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Mapping coal’s decline and renewables' rise

Mapping coal’s decline and renewables' rise

CoalMap online tool shows what policy regulations and technological advancements can do for the cost-competitiveness of solar and wind energy.

June 23, 2016Read more


Christopher Martin, Bloomberg

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are seeking to increase the efficiency of solar cells by helping them take advantage of more of the sun’s rays.

MIT scientists are testing solar cells with a layer of carbon nanotubes that “make it possible to take advantage of wavelengths of light that ordinarily go to waste,” according to a statement yesterday from the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based university.

Standard polysilicon photovoltaic cells don’t “respond” to the entire spectrum of sunlight, limiting the amount of photons they’re able to convert into electricity. Scientists have said standard polysilicon has a theoretical maximum efficiency of 33.7 percent. The nanotube technology may be used to surpass that limit, according to Evelyn Wang, an MIT associate professor of mechanical engineering.

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Read the full article at Bloomberg