This is great news. William Yuan, a 12 year-old from Beaverton, Oregon, has made an innovation in the 3D solar cells production that could provide 500 times more light absorption than commercially-available solar cells and nine times more than cutting-edge 3D solar cells. It may sound weird, but, at his age, he studied nanotechnology.
“Solar it seems underused, and there are only a few problems with it”, said William, encouraged by his science teacher from Meadow Park Middle School. “Regular solar cells are only 2D and only allow light interaction once,” he also said.
The 3D solar cell William Yuan invented can absorb both visible and UV light, a fact that scientists struggle to accomplish by complicated technologies. At first, he couldn’t believe his calculations: “This solar cell can’t be generating this much electricity, it can’t be absorbing this much extra light,” he recalled thinking.
While college students have come up with unusual solar cars and the state of Oregon recently unveiled solar panels to power highway lights, William Yuan is thinking global: “It’ll have a really positive impact on society and the environment,” he said.
His next step is to get a manufacturer and market it.
Yuan is flying out to Washington D.C. on Monday to accept a $25,000 scholarship for his research. He earned the Davidson Fellow award, which is for those 18 and under.
It remains to be seen how this kid’s work evolves and how his invention can be put from paper to reality. We’ll report about this as soon as other news appear.