A new kind of photo voltaic cell which is based on sheets of flexible grephene and coated with a layer of nano wires has been produced by a team of researchers. With the help of this approach, the solar cells will be low cost, transparent and flexible that could be easily deployed on windows, roofs or any other surfaces.
This new approach has also been detailed in many news papers. These solar cells are remaining expensive as most of today’s solar cells have been made of silicon which is generally highly purified and then they have been made into crystals that have been sliced thin.
For this purpose, many kinds of alternatives have been exploring by the researchers for example: nanstructured or hybrid solar cells etc. Currently scientists are using indium tin oxide (ITO) as a transparent electrode in these new solar cells but using indium in that compound is quite expensive.
So the new grephene is beneficial as they have been made from ubiquitous carbon. This can be an alternative to the ITO because of its low cost as well as other advantages which has been provided by it such as: flexibility, mechanical strength, low weight and chemical robustness etc.
As the grephene structure is stable and inert, it has become challenged for the scientists to build semiconducting nano structures without impairing its electrical as well as structural properties directly on a pristine grephene surface. So for modifying its properties and allowing them to bond a layer of zinc oxide nano wires to it, then an overlay of material which could respond to light waves, a series of polymer coatings has been used by the team of researchers.
The innate properties of grephene remain intact despite these all modifications and also provide significant advantages which results in hybrid material. The demonstration of those devices has been done by the researchers which is based on grephene and having a comparable efficiency to ITO. There will be an overall power conversion efficiency of 4.2 percent which is less than the efficiency of general purpose silicon cells but also competitive for specialized applications in case of the quantum.
These grephene nanowires solar cells have been demonstrated without sacrificing device performance. In order to deposit zinc oxide nanowires on grephene electrodes, a solution based process can be done entirely at temperatures below at 175 degrees Celsius unlike the high temperature growth of other semiconductors.