Navigation Links
Microwave ovens may help produce lower cost solar energy technology
Date:8/24/2012

CORVALLIS, Ore. The same type of microwave oven technology that most people use to heat up leftover food has found an important application in the solar energy industry, providing a new way to make thin-film photovoltaic products with less energy, expense and environmental concerns.

Engineers at Oregon State University have for the first time developed a way to use microwave heating in the synthesis of copper zinc tin sulfide, a promising solar cell compound that is less costly and toxic than some solar energy alternatives.

The findings were published in Physica Status Solidi A, a professional journal.

"All of the elements used in this new compound are benign and inexpensive, and should have good solar cell performance," said Greg Herman, an associate professor in the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering at OSU.

"Several companies are already moving in this direction as prices continue to rise for some alternative compounds that contain more expensive elements like indium," he said. "With some improvements in its solar efficiency this new compound should become very commercially attractive."

These thin-film photovoltaic technologies offer a low cost, high volume approach to manufacturing solar cells. A new approach is to create them as an ink composed of nanoparticles, which could be rolled or sprayed by approaches such as old-fashioned inkjet printing to create solar cells.

To further streamline that process, researchers have now succeeded in using microwave heating, instead of conventional heating, to reduce reaction times to minutes or seconds, and allow for great control over the production process. This "one-pot" synthesis is fast, cheap and uses less energy, researchers say, and has been utilized to successfully create nanoparticle inks that were used to fabricate a photovoltaic device.

"This approach should save money, work well and be easier to scale up at commercial levels, compared to traditional synthetic methods," Herman said. "Microwave technology offers more precise control over heat and energy to achieve the desired reactions."


'/>"/>
Contact: Greg Herman
greg.herman@oregonstate.edu
541-737-2496
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UD partner in NIH research project to produce artificial salivary glands
2. Study shows how elephants produce their deep voices
3. Enhanced royal jelly produces jumbo queen bee larvae
4. A step toward minute factories that produce medicine inside the body
5. Intestinal bacteria produce neurotransmitter, could play role in inflammation
6. Nuisance seaweed found to produce compounds with biomedical potential
7. Scientists produce eye structures from human blood-derived stem cells
8. Dung beetle diversity affects Florida livestock producers
9. The longer youre awake, the slower you get
10. Lower vitamin D could increase risk of dying, especially for frail, older adults
11. Omega-3 lowers inflammation in overweight older adults
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/6/2017)... , Jan. 6, 2017  Privately-held CalciMedica, ... studies in healthy volunteers of a novel calcium ... treat acute pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis, ... a mild disorder, but can be very serious.  In ... and sepsis, where extended hospital stays, time in ...
(Date:1/4/2017)...  CES 2017 – Valencell , the leading ... the launch of two new versions of its ... sensor modules that incorporate the best of Valencell,s ... The two new designs include Benchmark BE2.0, a ... Benchmark BW2.0, a 2-LED version of its original ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... 20, 2016 The rising popularity of ... leasing is stoking significant interest in keyless access ... Bluetooth low energy (BLE), biometrics and near-field communication ... wave of wireless technologies in the automotive industry. ... advanced access systems opens the market to specialist ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... -- WuXi AppTec, a leading global pharmaceutical, biotechnology ... today announced that it has acquired HD Biosciences ... contract research organization (CRO). After completion of acquisition, ... WuXi, and will continue to focus on growing ... acquisition will further strengthen WuXi,s R&D capability from ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... GAITHERSBURG, Md. , Jan. 19, ... Altimmune, Inc., a privately-held immunotherapeutics company targeting infectious ... agreement for the merger of PharmAthene and Altimmune ... Novartis Venture Fund, HealthCap, Truffle Capital and Redmont ... and diversified immunotherapeutics company with four clinical stage ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... tech innovators, engineers, and scientists from around the world, was today awarded the ... awards program is based entirely on merit and decided upon by a dedicated ...
(Date:1/19/2017)...  Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: NWBO) ("NW Bio"), a ... operable and inoperable solid tumor cancers, announced today that ... NW Bio, will present at the Phacilitate Immunotherapy World ... Regency Hotel in Miami, Florida . ... "New Therapeutic Approaches – Expanding the Reach of Cancer ...
Breaking Biology Technology: