Science

Graphene-based solar cell hits record 15.6 percent efficiency

Graphene-based solar cell hits...
Researchers are claiming a record efficiency of 15.6 percent for a new graphene-based solar cell (Image: Shutterstock)
Researchers are claiming a record efficiency of 15.6 percent for a new graphene-based solar cell (Image: Shutterstock)
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Researchers are claiming a record efficiency of 15.6 percent for a new graphene-based solar cell (Image: Shutterstock)
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Researchers are claiming a record efficiency of 15.6 percent for a new graphene-based solar cell (Image: Shutterstock)

In 2012, researchers from the University of Florida reported a record efficiency of 8.6 percent for a prototype solar cell consisting of a wafer of silicon coated with a layer of graphene doped with trifluoromethanesulfonyl-amide (TFSA). Now another team is claiming a new record efficiency of 15.6 percent for a graphene-based solar cell by ditching the silicon all together.

The prototype photovoltaic device, created by researchers from the Group of Photovoltaic and Optoelectronic Devices (DFO) at Spain's Universitat Jaume I in Castelló and Oxford University, uses a combination of titanium oxide and graphene as a charge collector and perovskite as a sunlight absorber.

As well as the impressive solar efficiency, the team says the device is manufactured at low temperatures, with the several layers that go into making it being processed at under 150° C (302° F) using a solution-based deposition technique. This not only means lower potential production costs, but also makes it possible for the technology to be used on flexible plastics.

The team's paper is published in the journal Nano Letters.

Source: Asociación RUVID (Spanish)

15 comments
Joel Detrow
Solution-based? So does that mean we could finally see phone cases coated with the stuff straight from the factory?
James Davis
Or paint for your house?
ridelo
Graphene: what a better use for carbon in stead of burning it. Love this.
BigGoofyGuy
Perhaps one could spray it on a tent or camper and be able to charge things with it so they could be used at night? ie, solar powered lights or recharge ones phone or electronics? I think it has a lot of potential.
Doyle Dowd
Well now, that's impressive
moreover
@ ridelo Actually, the quantity of carbon used for nano applications is ridiculously small. But yes, burning coal must stop. Bill McKibben's "Do the Math" campaign shows that another 565 gigatons of carbon emissions take us to a CO2 level that equates a still manageable (if unpleasant) temperature rise by 2 degrees C. Unfortunately, industry has already identified reserves of 2,795 gigatons of carbon for exploration. In other words, until we stop massive carbon emission we are quite literally cooked.
Seth Miesters
This is good. Plenty of Carbon around. Time to find ways to use this material to our advantage.
Grunchy
Impressive!! As soon as the cost of solar cells goes down, I'm going to cover the roof of the house and garage with solar power cells and figure out how to use all that power.
Slowburn
15.6% of how much of the visible spectrum?
MK23666
I wonder how durable it is? If very durable I can imagine it being applied to streets and/or sidewalks to aid in powering street lights and free Wi-Fi. Painting buildings houses and cars for free energy is another no brainer.