Thinner solar panels?

June 25, 2013

Until now, solar cell improvements have been in more efficient energy conversion or lowered manufacturing cost, but research from Professor Jeff Grossman and his collaborators may lead to the thinnest and most lightweight solar panels possible. Learn more from the News Office or read the Nano Letters story.

The MIT team found that an effective solar cell could be made from a stack of two one-molecule-thick materials: Graphene (a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms, shown at bottom in blue) and molybdenum disulfide (above, with molybdenum atoms shown in red and sulfur in yellow). The two sheets together are thousands of times thinner than conventional silicon solar cells.  GRAPHIC: JEFFREY GROSSMAN AND MARCO BERNARDI

The MIT team found that an effective solar cell could be made from a stack of two one-molecule-thick materials: Graphene (a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms, shown at bottom in blue) and molybdenum disulfide (above, with molybdenum atoms shown in red and sulfur in yellow). The two sheets together are thousands of times thinner than conventional silicon solar cells. 

GRAPHIC: JEFFREY GROSSMAN AND MARCO BERNARDI

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