Using carbon nanotubes (hole tubes of carbon atoms), MIT chemical engineers have discovered some way to pay attention solar power 100 instances greater than a typical photovoltaic cellular
“Instead of having your whole roof be a photovoltaic cell, you could have little spots that were tiny photovoltaic cells, with antennas that would drive photons into them,” says Michael Strano, the Charles and Hilda Roddey Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and chief of the analysis group.
Strano and his scholars describe their new carbon nanotube antenna, or “solar funnel,” within the on-line version of the magazine Nature Materials. Lead authors of the paper are postdoctoral affiliate Jae-Hee Han and graduate scholar Geraldine Paulus.
Their new antennas may also be helpful for another software that calls for mild to be concentrated, equivalent to night-vision goggles or telescopes.
Solar panels generate electrical energy by way of changing photons (packets of sunshine power) into an electrical present. Strano’s nanotube antenna boosts the collection of photons that may be captured and transforms the sunshine into power that may be funneled right into a sun cellular.
The antenna is composed of a fibrous rope about 10 micrometers (millionths of a meter) lengthy and 4 micrometers thick, containing about 30 million carbon nanotubes. Strano’s group constructed, for the primary time, a fiber made of 2 layers of nanotubes with other electric houses – in particular, other bandgaps.