Wednesday, April 6, 2011

An Interesting Crossover: Gold And Solar Energy

More uses are being found for the metal, particularly with gold nanoparticles. The use that researchers at the University of Warwick have found, apply to a completely different kind of tech: organic solar cells.
[R]esearch led by Dr Ross Hatton and Professor Tim Jones in the University of Warwick 's department of Chemistry has developed a rapid method for the preparation of robust, ultra-thin gold films on glass. Importantly this method can be scaled up for large area applications like solar cells and the resulting electrodes are chemically very well-defined.

Dr Hatton says "This new method of creating gold based transparent electrodes is potentially widely applicable for a variety of large area applications, particularly where stable, chemically well-defined, ultra-smooth platform electrodes are required, such as in organic optoelectronics and the emerging fields of nanoelectronics and nanophotonics"
The reason why this innovation heralds a breakthrough is because organic solar cells have had to rely upon unstable and difficult-to-use indium tin oxide coated glass. Gold-coated glass promises to be air-stable. Despite gold's expensiveness, hardly any is used in the making of the plated glass: about six dollars' worth per square metre. Moeover, it can be reclaimed later.

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