Wednesday, 11 Nov, 2009 Science

Useful Invention from US Researchers - Spray-on Solar Ink


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Together with his team of scientists from the University of Texas, Austin, Brian Korgel, is working on probably one of the most useful inventions - a spray-on solar ink that could become a much less expensive development compared to the already popular silicon solar cells used widely nowadays.

The lead researcher explained that the team intends to create an ink or a paint that one can just spread on a certain substrate at room temperature or use a heat lamp and it will function as a solar cell.

In order to create their new invention, researchers make use of a material known as copper indium gallium selenide, shortly CIGS. The sunlight is soaked up by nanoparticles from CIGS which then transform it into electricity.

It is worth mentioning that Korgel's team is not the only one to carry out experiments with solar inks.

A similar work is currently in the development stage at the New Jersey Institute of Technology where Dr. Som Mitra is working on a solar ink material, which she believes can become a very useful invention in the near future. The scientist considers that in 5 years it would be quite common to see painted solar cells on various rooftops. Mitra's group uses a different technique to develop solar cells.

A polymer replaces CIGS nanoparticles in Mitra's experiment. The polymer is the one to produce an electrical charge. Then researchers apply a carbon-nanotube composite in order to boost the transport of electricity, reports Discovery News.

Both Korgel and Mitra believe that today more people and companies have an increased interest in green energy, which leads to the increasing cost of oil among various nonrenewable resources.

Posted by greendan80

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