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People, Projects, and Programs

Upfront People, Projects, and Programs News from the field Paint-On Solar Cells Scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) are on the verge of developing cheap, stable solar cells made from nanocrystals so small they can exist as a liquid ink and be painted or printed onto clear surfaces. The crystals, made of the semiconductor cadmium selenide, could spark interest in solar cells, which have long been perceived as underperforming, according to Richard L. Brutchey, assistant professor of chemistry at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Liquid nanocrystal solar cells are cheaper to fabricate than available single-crystal silicon wafer solar cells, but are not as efficient at converting sunlight to electricity. With a relatively low-temperature process, the nanocrystal solar cells can be printed onto plastic instead of glass without any issues with melting, resulting in a flexible solar panel that can be shaped to fit anywhere, Brutchey explains. “While the commercialization of this technology is still years away, we see a clear path forward toward integrating this into the next generation of solar cell technologies,” Brutchey says. Nanocrystals are about four nanometers in size, meaning more than 250 billion could fit on the head http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sustainability: The Journal of Record Mary Ann Liebert

People, Projects, and Programs

Abstract

Upfront People, Projects, and Programs News from the field Paint-On Solar Cells Scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) are on the verge of developing cheap, stable solar cells made from nanocrystals so small they can exist as a liquid ink and be painted or printed onto clear surfaces. The crystals, made of the semiconductor cadmium selenide, could spark interest in solar cells, which have long been perceived as underperforming, according to Richard L. Brutchey, assistant professor of chemistry at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Liquid nanocrystal solar cells are cheaper to fabricate than available single-crystal silicon wafer solar cells, but are not as efficient at converting sunlight to electricity. With a relatively low-temperature process, the nanocrystal solar cells can be printed onto plastic instead of glass without any issues with melting, resulting in a flexible solar panel that can be shaped to fit anywhere, Brutchey explains. “While the commercialization of this technology is still years away, we see a clear path forward toward integrating this into the next generation of solar cell technologies,” Brutchey says. Nanocrystals are about four nanometers in size, meaning more than 250 billion could fit on the head
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