Graphene: Huge Photovoltaic Potential for solar panels

grapheneThe material Graphene has been attracting a great deal of attention lately. It’s postulated for use in a variety of sectors and could revolutionize electronics. However researchers are finding more and more uses for this amazing material, which as you’d expect from it’s name is similar to graphite.

Graphene is highly efficient at producing electrons when absorbing light, which means that the material could be used to make photovoltaic devices and perhaps even more efficient solar cells. Currently PV or photovoltaics are based on silicon and have typically under 20% efficiency. Conventional Solar cells that turn light/photos into electricity, such as silicon and GA (gallium arsenide), release a single electron for each photon absorbed. But Graphene releases several electrons from every single photo (packet of light) it receives , meaning that it can be far far more efficient than the solar cells and PV devices in operation on roof’s roday.

The development from the  Institute of Photonic Sciences in Spain has been experimentally verified and hence there is much excitement about conducting further research in this area to find ways to integrate graphene into PV devices although it is likely that graphene will fist show up in the applications of Image sensing.

Ferrari from the University of Cambridge explains that the material has a truly interesting properties  Graphene “can work with every possible wavelength you can think of,” he says. “There is no other material in the world with this behavior.” It is also flexible, robust, relatively cheap, and easily integrated with other materials.”

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