- Stanford University scientists have built the first ever carbon-only solar cell which may be a promising lower cost (and high performance) alternative to current photovoltaic energy devices. Existing solar cells often rely on multi-step processing and rare metals such as indium tin oxide (ITO).
- The new technology has the potential to reduce manufacturing costs due to the simple coating and manufacture techniques which do not require expensive machinery. The development may also provide greater flexibility in production, and allow for alternative markets where carbon solar cells are coated on windows, cars, or the surface of buildings to generate electricity.
Implications and next steps: The many applications of all-carbon solar cells means they could be widely implemented on all surfaces, perhaps including the windows of high rises to maximise solar energy generation in urban settings. *Addition*: However, current prototypes primarily absorb infra-red light, meaning additional efficiency gains may need to be made before the technology is adopted at scale.
Solar Daily: http://tinyurl.com/d7g58k8