Navigation Links
MIT researchers use virus to improve solar-cell efficiency
Date:4/25/2011

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Researchers at MIT have found a way to make significant improvements to the power-conversion efficiency of solar cells by enlisting the services of tiny viruses to perform detailed assembly work at the microscopic level.

In a solar cell, sunlight hits a light-harvesting material, causing it to release electrons that can be harnessed to produce an electric current. The new MIT research, published online this week in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, is based on findings that carbon nanotubes microscopic, hollow cylinders of pure carbon can enhance the efficiency of electron collection from a solar cell's surface.

Previous attempts to use the nanotubes, however, had been thwarted by two problems. First, the making of carbon nanotubes generally produces a mix of two types, some of which act as semiconductors (sometimes allowing an electric current to flow, sometimes not) or metals (which act like wires, allowing current to flow easily). The new research, for the first time, showed that the effects of these two types tend to be different, because the semiconducting nanotubes can enhance the performance of solar cells, but the metallic ones have the opposite effect. Second, nanotubes tend to clump together, which reduces their effectiveness.

And that's where viruses come to the rescue. Graduate students Xiangnan Dang and Hyunjung Yi working with Angela Belcher, the W. M. Keck Professor of Energy, and several other researchers found that a genetically engineered version of a virus called M13, which normally infects bacteria, can be used to control the arrangement of the nanotubes on a surface, keeping the tubes separate so they can't short out the circuits, and keeping the tubes apart so they don't clump.

The system the researchers tested used a type of solar cell known as dye-sensitized solar cells, a lightweight and inexpensive type where the active layer is composed of titanium dioxide, rather tha
'/>"/>

Contact: Caroline McCall
cmccall5@mit.edu
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Beetle bling: Researchers discover optical secrets of metallic beetles
2. Wild hogs: Researchers examine impact of feral pigs in eastern N.C.
3. Researchers create functioning synapse using carbon nanotubes
4. Researchers find fat turns into soap in sewers, contributes to overflows
5. Researchers combine active proteins with material derived from fruit fly
6. MU researchers find missing link in plant defense against fungal disease
7. New biosensor microchip could speed up drug development, Stanford researchers say
8. Nottingham researchers help bridge the urban and rural divide in the UK and India
9. Researchers discover precisely how thalidomide causes birth defects
10. Researchers get a first look at the mechanics of membrane proteins
11. Jefferson researchers unlock key to personalized cancer medicine using tumor metabolism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/23/2014)... Canada has issued a high health risk warning for ... the region due to forest fires. In the ... drifting eastward along normal wind patterns. Fire is ... from fires is not quite so obvious and its ... type of fire (forest, brush, crop, structure, tires, waste ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... Migratory songbirds are disappearing, and though conservationists are ... of habitat, acid rain and light pollution, a key ... these birds go once they leave their breeding sites, ... way? , To answer this question, a team of ... ever migratory connectivity map produced for a songbird, using ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... million people around the world have no access to ... (WHO), 3.4 million people die from water-related diseases every ... of making a contribution to solving this problem. Working ... head of the Functional Materials Laboratory, the 23-year-old spent ... prototype. , "What makes our DrinkPure filter unique is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):York University researchers use bird 'backpacks' to put wood thrushes migration on the map 2ETH student develops filter for clean water around the world 2
... of the American Indian announced that it has ... the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by ... Energy and Environmental Design, is the nation,s preeminent ... high-performance green buildings. "This achievement not only ...
... new $13.75 million project that will apply data ... environmental factors behind neuropsychiatric disorders. The Sylvio ... the University of Chicago, will combine the statistical ... record databases to confront diseases that have so ...
... 2011Measurable changes in brain function and communication between brain ... the early stages of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. ... detailed in an article in the groundbreaking new neuroscience ... peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc ...
Cached Biology News:National Museum of the American Indian awarded prestigious LEED Green Building Certification 2New data-mining effort launched to study mental disorders 2New data-mining effort launched to study mental disorders 3Changes in brain function in early HIV infection: A reliable indicator of disease prognosis? 2
(Date:7/24/2014)... 24, 2014 Three companies from the ... Livestrong’s Big C Competition. Out of 700 competition entrants, ... to the semi-final round. In this round twenty teams ... program, complete with mentoring from thought-leaders and medical entrepreneurs ... of the angelMD commitment to the Livestrong vision around ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... July 24, 2014 1000 balances – ... input on customers’ weighing needs and expertly narrows down ... of balances, scales or even terminals. , First, ... smallest weight (or select readability instead) and define the ... additional selection criteria narrows down the list to models ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... July 24, 2014   Cypher Genomics, Inc., ... appointment of Adam Simpson as president ... rapid and comprehensive annotation and interpretation of individual ... "Cypher,s technology has the potential to ... enhancing diagnostic accuracy, optimizing therapeutic approaches and reducing ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... United Arab Emirates (UAE) (PRWEB) July 23, 2014 ... Grace Century recently announced that its biobanking project, ... Vaught , Ph.D. to its growing Advisory Board. ... are very pleased to have Dr. Vaught onboard with ... scientific depth and expertise that Provia’s management team brings ...
Breaking Biology Technology:3 angelMD Startups Make Livestrong Big C Semi-finals 2Cypher Genomics Announces the Appointment of Adam Simpson as President and COO to Advance Transformative Genome Interpretation Technology 2Cypher Genomics Announces the Appointment of Adam Simpson as President and COO to Advance Transformative Genome Interpretation Technology 3Provia Laboratories Adds Dr. Jim Vaught, Ph.D., Former Chief of BBRB, to Advisory Board 2Provia Laboratories Adds Dr. Jim Vaught, Ph.D., Former Chief of BBRB, to Advisory Board 3Provia Laboratories Adds Dr. Jim Vaught, Ph.D., Former Chief of BBRB, to Advisory Board 4
... simple surface treatment technique demonstrated by a collaboration between ... (NIST), Penn State and the University of Kentucky potentially ... of organic electronic transistors on polymer sheets for a ... and flexible sheets of biosensor arrays for field diagnostics. ...
... ALTO, Calif., Feb. 19 Telik, Inc.,(Nasdaq: TELK ... will,be held on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 4:30 ... earlier that day of the company,s,financial results for the ... The conference call will be accessible via Telik,s website ...
... Kensey Nash Corporation,(Nasdaq: KNSY ) is ... Conference at the Mission Bay Conference Center in ... G. Evans, Kensey Nash,s Chief Operating Officer, will ... (PT). The,presentation materials will be available on the ...
Cached Biology Technology:Directed self-ordering of organic molecules for electronic devices 2
Human plasmacytoid dendritic cells, BDCA-4+, For immunohistochemistry (IHC) Cell Chip with Human Peripheral Blood Dendritic Cells and EPCs...
Umbilical cord blood basophils, For immunohistochemistry (IHC)...
Human peripheral blood CD8+ T cells, For immunohistochemistry (IHC) Cell Chip with Human Peripheral Blood PBMC and T Cells...
Umbilical cord blood CD4+ T cells, For immunohistochemistry (IHC) Cell Chip with Human Umbilical Cord Blood MNCs and T Cells...
Biology Products: