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How graphene and friends could harness the Sun's energy
Date:5/2/2013

University of Manchester and National University of Singapore researchers have shown how building multi-layered heterostructures in a three-dimensional stack can produce an exciting physical phenomenon exploring new electronic devices.

The breakthrough, published in Science, could lead to electric energy that runs entire buildings generated by sunlight absorbed by its exposed walls; the energy can be used at will to change the transparency and reflectivity of fixtures and windows depending on environmental conditions, such as temperature and brightness.

The isolation of graphene, by University of Manchester Nobel Laureates Professor Andre Geim and Professor Kostya Novoselov in 2004, led to the discovery of the whole new family of one-atom-thick materials.

Graphene is the world's thinnest, strongest and most conductive material, and has the potential to revolutionise a huge number of diverse applications; from smartphones and ultrafast broadband to drug delivery and computer chips.

The isolation of graphene also led to the discovery of a whole new family of one-atom-thick materials.

Collectively, such 2D crystals demonstrate a vast range of superlative properties: from conductive to insulating, from opaque to transparent. Every new layer in these stacks adds exciting new functions, so the heterostructures are ideal for creating novel, multifunctional devices.

One plus one is greater than two the combinations of 2D crystals allow researchers to achieve functionality not available from any of the individual materials.

The Manchester and Singapore researchers expanded the functionality of these heterostructures to optoelectronics and photonics. By combining graphene with monolayers of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDC), the researchers were able to created extremely sensitive and efficient photovoltaic devices. Such devices could potentially be used as ultrasensitive photodetectors or very ef
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Contact: Daniel Cochlin
daniel.cochlin@manchester.ac.uk
44-161-275-8382
University of Manchester
Source:Eurekalert

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