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  1. Research Reports
January 17, 2022updated 27 Jul 2022 5:37pm

Stanford University Develops Thin and Flexible Solar Panels

Concept: Researchers at Stanford University have developed a new thin and flexible solar panel with improved efficiency. The new solar panel is developed using transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) that absorb high levels of sunlight that strike their surface compared to other solar materials. Under standard solar radiation conditions, the new panel displayed an efficiency of 5.1% and a power per weight return of 4.4 W/g.

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by Merck
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Nature of Disruption: TMDs are two-dimensional (2D) materials with exceptional semiconducting properties and high optical absorption coefficients, making them suitable for the manufacture of semi-transparent and flexible solar cells. The new solar cell is developed with an ultrathin, lightweight, and flexible polyimide (PI) substrate with a thickness of 5μm, transparent graphene contacts doped with molybdenum oxide (MoOx), and multi-layer tungsten diselenide (WSe2) absorbers measuring 200nm. It also includes passivation and anti-reflection coatings, and optically-reflective electron-collecting gold bottom contacts. The use of graphene contacts enables it to mitigate Fermi-level pinning, a phenomenon that occurs in solar cells when an energy barrier is created for electrons and holes by bending the bands at the semiconductor interface. The new solar cell claims to outperform organic and perovskite solar cells and also helps to overcome the stability challenges associated with organic and perovskite solar cells.

Outlook: Fermi level pinning is one of the challenges faced by normal TMD solar cells and it is responsible for limiting the power conversion efficiency of the TMD solar cells to around 2%. The Fermi levels define the efficient conversion of the energy of radiation into electrochemical energy. Leveraging graphene contacts, the new solar cell claims to overcome the challenge of Fermi level pinning. Also, the present solar cells based on silicon are heavy, bulky, and rigid for applications where flexibility, lightweight, and high power are required. Researchers claim that the new solar cells are flexible for applications in wearable devices, aerospace, and electric vehicles.

This article was originally published in Verdict.co.uk

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Out of the Blue: Dynamic Liquid Crystal Windows

From cutting down on carbon emissions and maximising energy efficiency to enhancing the health and well-being of a buildings’ occupants, the latest ‘smart glass’ and ‘dynamic glazing’ solutions offer unparalleled opportunities. Designed to meet, if not exceed, standards for low and zero-emission buildings, Dynamic Liquid Crystal Windows by Eyrise provide the opportunity to minimise the need for artificial heating and cooling by optimising the use of that generated naturally. In this latest report, the technology’s performance is compared against its closest competitors on colour-rendering, switching speed, and circadian well-being to show where it leads the way. Gaze into the future of glazing by accessing this free whitepaper below.
by Merck
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

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