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3D Solar Cells Evolution Helped by Nanotubes


nanotube4Cornell University and DuPont research team started working on a project which will probably revolutionize the electronics industry. The goal is to go to thinner, lighter and more flexible transistors and solar cells. With the use of nanotubes, an economical electronics material will be made which should be as good as silicon.

To produce nanotubes in labs, scientists use some chemical processes. The issue is that some of the nanotubes are semiconducting and others are metallic. The semiconducting nanotubes are the ones used in electronics industry and there was a certain difficulty to separate these 2 types. In the beginning this problem made the new material to be very costly, though scientists found another way to have the separation made at a cheaper price with a real simple chemical process called “Cyloaddition”.

The new process uses fluorine-based molecules to dissolve or convert the metal nanotubes without harming the semiconducting tubes. This process is cheap and prepares the carbon nanotubes for suspension in semiconductor ink for electronic printing purpose.

Scientist believe their work will lead to a large use of the nanotubes including in organic photovoltaic structures. The nanotubes are believed to be 100 times more flexible than silicone which will lead to high definition of 3D photovoltaic structures.

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