PV potential:
Graphene, the atomic structure of
which is seen in this conceptual illustration, has
been shown to have promising optical properties.

 
MATERIALS NEWS

Research Hints at Graphene’s Photovoltaic Potential

Newly observed properties mean graphene could be a highly efficient converter of light to electric power.

By Mike Orcutt on March 1, 2013

Researchers have demonstrated that graphene is highly efficient at generating electrons upon absorbing light, which suggests that the material could be used to make light sensors and perhaps even more efficient solar cells.

Conventional materials that turn light into electricity, like silicon and gallium arsenide, generate a single electron for each photon absorbed. Since a photon contains more energy than one electron can carry, much of the energy contained in the incoming light is lost as heat. Now, new research reveals that when graphene absorbs a photon it generates multiple electrons capable of driving a current. This means that if graphene devices for converting light to electricity come to fruition, they could be more efficient than the devices commonly used today.

Read more: New Nature Physics Paper Shows That Graphene’s Unique Properties Could Be Used to Make Better Photovoltaic Devices | MIT Technology Review.

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