A new kind of photo voltaic cell which is based on the sheets of flexible graphene and coated with a layer of nano wires has been developed by the team of researchers. By this technology; low cost, transparent and flexible solar cells can be created which can be deployed on windows, roofs and other surfaces.
This new approach of researchers has been published in many newspapers and journals as well. This technology is very helpful in today’s world as existing solar cells have been made of silicon and expensive because it has been highly purified and after that it has been made into crystals which are sliced thin. Many alternatives have been exploring by the scientists such as nano structured or hybrid solar cells which can be used in these new devices as a transparent electrode.
According to the scientists, currently indium tin oxide (ITO) is the important material of choice for these transparent electrodes. Indium can be used in that compound such as touch screens have been used in smart phones but indium is expensive as graphene has been made from ubiquitous carbon. So this new material can be prove an alternative to this ITO as it can provide other advantages such as flexibility, low weight, mechanical strength and chemical robustness because of its lower cost.
As the structure of graphene is stable and inert, it has become challenge to create semiconducting nanostructures which will be directly on a pristine graphene surface without damaging its electrical and structural properties. So in order to modify its properties as well as allowing them for bonding a layer of zinc oxide nanowires to it, also then a material’s overlay which responds to light waves, a series of polymer coatings has been used by the scientists.
These innate properties of graphene remain intact despite these kinds of modifications and it also provides significant advantages which results into hybrid material. These devices have been demonstrated by the scientists, that is based on graphene and have a comparable efficiency to ITO.
This is the first technology for demonstrating graphene nanowire solar cells without compromising with the performance of the device. In addition to this, a solution based process can be done entirely at temperatures below 175 degrees in order to deposit zinc oxide nanowires on graphene electrodes unlike the growth in high temperature of other semiconductors.