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

n the silicon used in conventional solar cells. But the same technique could be applied to other types as well, including quantum-dot and organic solar cells, the researchers say. In their tests, adding the virus-built structures enhanced the power conversion efficiency to 10.6 percent from 8 percent almost a one-third improvement.

This dramatic improvement takes place even though the viruses and the nanotubes make up only 0.1 percent by weight of the finished cell. "A little biology goes a long way," Belcher says. With further work, the researchers think they can ramp up the efficiency even further.

The viruses are used to help improve one particular step in the process of converting sunlight to electricity. In a solar cell, the first step is for the energy of the light to knock electrons loose from the solar-cell material (usually silicon); then, those electrons need to be funneled toward a collector, from which they can form a current that flows to charge a battery or power a device. After that, they return to the original material, where the cycle can start again. The new system is intended to enhance the efficiency of the second step, helping the electrons find their way: Adding the carbon nanotubes to the cell "provides a more direct path to the current collector," Belcher says.

The viruses actually perform two different functions in this process. First, they possess short proteins called peptides that can bind tightly to the carbon nanotubes, holding them in place and keeping them separated from each other. Each virus can hold five to 10 nanotubes, each of which is held firmly in place by about 300 of the virus's peptide molecules. In addition, the virus was engineered to produce a coating of titanium dioxide (TiO2), a key ingredient for dye-sensitized solar cells, over each of the nanotubes, putting the titanium dioxide in close proximity to the wire-like nanotubes that carry the electrons.

The two functions are carried o
'/>"/>

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:9/16/2014)... Health at the Mailman School of Public Health are ... and prenatal exposure to two phthalates used in a ... the journal Environmental Health Perspectives . , ... levels of the chemicals, butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP) and di-n-butyl ... increase in risk of developing asthma between age 5 ...
(Date:9/16/2014)... maternal morbidity amongst women in Australia is increased ... published today (17 September) in BJOG: An ... Australians generally enjoy high standards of living; however, ... in particular between indigenous and non indigenous Australians. ... independent impact of socioeconomic position on severe maternal ...
(Date:9/16/2014)... American Menopause Society (NAMS) has published its key, ... womenon everything from hot flashes to heart disease. ... Recommendations for Clinical Care of Midlife Women," was ... Menopause . This is the first, comprehensive set ... women freely available to all clinicians who care ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Phthalates heighten risk for childhood asthma 2Phthalates heighten risk for childhood asthma 3New study examines the impact of socioeconomic position & maternal morbidity in Australia 2New study examines the impact of socioeconomic position & maternal morbidity in Australia 3
... Cambridge, Mass. - August 10, 2011 - Between conception ... meters long, looping and coiling within the tiny abdomen. ... loops into the same formationhowever, until now, it has ... experimental observations, biological and biophysical manipulations, theory, and computation, ...
... help overcome a major barrier to the use of gene ... reported development and successful initial laboratory tests of such a ... David Kaplan and colleagues note that gene therapy ... requires safe and efficient carriers or "vectors." Those carriers ...
... , Working out the structure of a complex formed ... be key in understanding how an antibiotic-producing organism controls ... example of how other antibiotic producers regulate export to ... certain microorganisms is a complex and highly regulated process, ...
Cached Biology News:Gut coils with help from its elastic neighbor 2Gut coils with help from its elastic neighbor 3Student brings home new expertise to answer question in antibiotic resistance 2Student brings home new expertise to answer question in antibiotic resistance 3
(Date:9/16/2014)... USA (PRWEB) September 16, 2014 “Nature ... create the features that we desire in optical design,” ... at Montana State University. “As we explore surfaces and ... of those lessons were presented in San Diego in ... Light: Light in Nature ” chaired by Shaw and ...
(Date:9/16/2014)... --The emerging field of molecular electronics could take ... enabling the construction of tiny circuits from molecular ... would take on the roles currently played by ... of researchers from five Japanese and Taiwanese universities ... small-scale electronics: a molecule called picene. In a ...
(Date:9/16/2014)... Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today ... to be effective in animal models following oral (capsule) ... infusions that could pave the way for convenient outpatient ... at the Heart Failure Society of America,s (HFSA) 18 ... Vegas . The research, conducted in ...
(Date:9/16/2014)... Md. , Sept. 16, 2014   ... biotechnology company developing novel anti-infective biologic and drug ... and diseases, announced today the completion of the Company,s ... which highlighted its irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) ... constipation-predominant IBS (C-IBS). In the keynote ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Nature’s designs inspire research into new light-based technologies 2Nature’s designs inspire research into new light-based technologies 3Nature’s designs inspire research into new light-based technologies 4Nature’s designs inspire research into new light-based technologies 5The future face of molecular electronics 2Cardioxyl Presents Oral Heart Failure Treatment Data For Its Experimental HNO Prodrug At HFSA 18th Annual Scientific Meeting 2Synthetic Biologics' Statin-Class Candidate for Constipation-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome Detailed at Company's Investor Day 2Synthetic Biologics' Statin-Class Candidate for Constipation-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome Detailed at Company's Investor Day 3
... European Commission,s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has just ... a representative range of 25 different types of ... ensure consumer protection and confidence in many innovative ... most promising technological developments. By enabling a harmonised ...
... Feb. 14, 2011 New England Biolabs has expanded its ... One Taq Hot Start DNA Polymerases. Optimized blends of ... these new products offer robust amplification across a wide range ... exonuclease activity of Deep Vent increases the fidelity and robustness ...
... N.C., Feb. 14, 2011 India,s premier CRO, ... Society of India & Congress of Neurological Surgeons ...  The event was a convergence of leading neuroscientists, ... across the globe to discuss advances made in ...
Cached Biology Technology:Small material, big impact 2New England Biolabs Introduces OneTaq™ DNA Polymerase, a Robust Solution for Routine and Difficult PCR 2Max Neeman International Initiates Advisory Committee to Advance and Improve the Conduct of Complex Neurological Trials in India 2
... Psychology, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, ... Perth, Australia This is the Fourth Edition of ... It is a large format version (330 ... compact 3rd edition. This product number includes ...
... Jouan RC10 series of vacuum concentrators/centrifugal evaporators ... features allied to rapid and safe concentration ... be combined with oil-free or high vacuum ... a wide selection of rotors (eliminating sample ...
... is Thermo Electron's most advanced personal gradient ... to use sophisticated onboard software and a ... to offer performance, accuracy and simplicity in ... of customer driven features built up on ...
Carrier Serum...
Biology Products: