We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Nanowires could boost energy in solar cells by 15x

Building solar voltaic cells from nanowires instead of standard metal conductors can increase the amount of energy the cells can capture by a factor of 15, according to a new study by scientists from the Nano-Science Center in Denmark.

Published recently in the journal Nature Photonics, the study found that nanowires have unique light absorption properties that make it possible to harness much more energy from the sun's rays than was previously thought possible.

The research focused on improving the quality of the nanowire crystals, which have a cylindrical structure with a diameter of 1/10,000th that of a human hair.

Nanowires concentrate the sun's rays into a very small area in nanowire crystals and, because the diameter of a crystal is smaller than the wavelength of light coming from the sun, this can cause resonances in the intensity of light in and around nanowires. The resonance, in turn, offers a higher conversion efficiency for the sun's energy, according to Peter Krogstrup, a researcher at the Niels Bohr Institute.

Nanowires have great potential for use not only in solar cells, but also in quantum computers, said Krogstrup.

However, he cautioned, "it will take some years before production of solar cells consisting of nanowires becomes a reality."

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

Read more about applications in Computerworld's Applications Topic Center.


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

LED vs Halogen: Why now could be the right time to invest in LED bulbs

IDG UK Sites

Christmas' best ads: See great festive spots studios have created to promote themselves and clients

IDG UK Sites

Why Apple shouldn't be blamed for exploitation in China and Indonesia