3D Graphene Could Make Solar Cells Cheaper

PORTLAND, Ore. — Some day we may say good bye to expensive platinum in solar cells. Researchers at Michigan Technological University, in Houghton, Mich., have found that it’s possible to use a 3D graphene structure as a cheaper and more conductive alternative.
3D Graphene Could Make Solar Cells Cheaper
Graphene is by definition a flat, planar monolayer, but by combining it with sacrificial material that structures it into a honeycomb, a highly conductive material that could replace precious metals in solar cells results, according to Michigan Tech professor Yun Hang Hu.
“We have been able to make graphene into a 3D material that greatly increases its conductivity, making it suitable for replacing the platinum electrode in die-sensitized solar cells,” said Hu in an interview with EE Times.
Hu’s 3D graphene was synthesized by combining lithium oxide and carbon monoxide, which results in a honeycomb of pure carbon filled with lithium carbonate that can be washed out with acid, leaving the 3D graphene.
To prove their material’s merit, Hu fashioned die-sensitized solar cells, replacing their costly platinum electrodes with 3D graphene. The resulting efficiency of the 3D graphene solar cell only dipped by 2.5 percent when compared to much more expensive die-sensitized solar cells containing platinum.
For the future, Hu is optimizing his solar cell designs to improve their efficiency, as well as developing new applications such as improving battery performance by using 3D graphene electrodes. His group is collaborating with another group for the application of 3D graphene into superconductors.
For more detail: 3D Graphene Could Make Solar Cells Cheaper

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Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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