Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Solar power could get boost from new light absorption design

Source: By Sarah Ostman, Northwestern University

(Nanowerk News) Solar power may be on the rise, but solar cells are only as efficient as the amount of sunlight they collect. Under the direction of a new McCormick professor, researchers have developed a new material that absorbs a wide range of wavelengths and could lead to more efficient and less expensive solar technology.

A paper describing the findings, "Broadband polarization-independent resonant light absorption using ultrathin plasmonic super absorbers", was published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. "The solar spectrum is not like a laser – it's very broadband, starting with UV and going up to near-infrared," said Koray Aydin, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science and the paper's lead author. "To capture this light most efficiently, a solar cell needs to have a broadband response. This design allows us to achieve that." The researchers used two unconventional materials – metal and silicon oxide...
trapezoid-shaped metal gratings on the nanoscale
Read the Full Story: Solar power could get boost from new light absorption designMetal grating developed by Koray Aydin's research team.

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