The first all-carbon solar cell builded by Stanford scientists

The first all-carbon solar cell builded by Stanford scientists


The Bao group’s all-carbon electric cell consists of a photoactive layer, that absorbs daylight, sandwiched between 2 electrodes. (Photo: Mark Shwartz / Stanford University)

Stanford University scientists have engineered the primary electric cell created entirely of carbon, a promising various to the valuable materials employed in electrical phenomenon devices nowadays. Zhenan Bao, a academician of chemical engineering at Stanford says, “To the most effective of our information, this is often the primary demonstration of a operating electric cell that has all of the parts manufactured from carbon.”

Carbon allotropes possess distinctive and attention-grabbing physical, chemical, and electronic properties that create them enticing for next-generation electronic devices and star cells.

Unlike rigid chemical element star panels that adorn several rooftops, Stanford’s skinny film image is created of carbon materials which will be coated from resolution. “Perhaps within the future we {are able to} scrutinize various markets wherever versatile carbon star cells are coated on the surface of buildings, on windows or on cars to get electricity,” Bao said.


Stanford collegian archangel Vosgueritchian, co-lead author of the study with postdoctoral scientist brandy Ramuz says, “Processing silicon-based star cells needs plenty of steps. however our entire device will be engineered exploitation easy coating ways that don’t need valuable tools and machines.”

For the study, Bao and her colleagues replaced the silver and ITO employed in standard electrodes with graphene – sheets of carbon that square measure one atom thick –and single-walled carbon nanotubes that square measure ten,000 times narrower than an individual’s hair. For the active layer, the scientists used material manufactured from carbon nanotubes and “buckyballs” – football game spherical carbon molecules only one millimicron in diameter. “Every part in our electric cell, from high to bottom, is created of carbon materials,” Vosgueritchian aforesaid.

The ability of carbon star cells to out-perform standard devices below extreme conditions may overcome the requirement for bigger potency, in step with Vosgueritchian. “We believe that all-carbon star cells may well be employed in extreme environments, like at high temperatures or at high physical stress,” he said. “But clearly we would like the best potency attainable and square measure acting on ways in which to enhance our device.”

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Hands down the best advice I ever received was, 'The longest way begins with one step'. I have always been drawn to figuring out what makes things work and how they are put together. In high school I had the opportunity to take part in several science fair projects that allowed me to see first hand what engineering really was. It was great to take a question and systematically evaluate the validity of a solution.