Multilayer, microscale solar cells enable ultrahigh efficiency power generation

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign use a printing process to assemble tiny cells into multilayer stacks for extraordinary levels of photovoltaic conversion efficiency.

Shiny quantum dots brighten future of solar cells

A house window that doubles as a solar panel could be on the horizon, thanks to recent quantum-dot work by Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers in collaboration with scientists from University of Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB), Italy. Their project demonstrates that superior light-emitting properties of quantum dots can be applied in solar energy by helping more efficiently harvest sunlight.

Organic solar cells more efficient with molecules face-to-face

New research from North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill reveals that energy is transferred more efficiently inside of complex, three-dimensional organic solar cells when the donor molecules align face-on, rather than edge-on, relative to the acceptor. This finding may aid in the design and manufacture of more efficient and economically viable organic solar cell technology.

Nanotube composites increase the efficiency of next generation of solar cells

Carbon nanotubes are becoming increasingly attractive for photovoltaic solar cells as a replacement to silicon. Researchers at Umeå University in Sweden have discovered that controlled placement of the carbon nanotubes into nano-structures produces a huge boost in electronic performance. Their groundbreaking results are published in the prestigious journal Advanced Materials.

Research team finds way to make solar cells thin, efficient and flexible

Converting sunshine into electricity is not difficult, but doing so efficiently and on a large scale is one of the reasons why people still rely on the electric grid and not a national solar cell network.

Major leap towards graphene for solar cells

Graphene has extreme conductivity and is completely transparent while being inexpensive and nontoxic. This makes it a perfect candidate material for transparent contact layers for use in solar cells to conduct electricity without reducing the amount of incoming light - at least in theory.

New nanoparticles make solar cells cheaper to manufacture

University of Alberta researchers have found that abundant materials in the Earth's crust can be used to make inexpensive and easily manufactured nanoparticle-based solar cells.

Organic electronics inch forward one printing method at a time

Through innovations to a printing process, researchers have made major improvements to organic electronics – a technology in demand for lightweight, low-cost solar cells, flexible electronic displays and tiny sensors.

Stick-on solar cells can go almost anywhere

Stanford engineers have developed new peel-and-stick solar panels that they say can be applied to almost any surface.

Big boost for solar cell efficiency

Princeton researchers say they've found a cheap and simple way to nearly triple the efficiency of organic solar cells.

Rust and sunshine could replace fossil fuels

Using sunlight and ultrathin films of iron oxide, or rust, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology researchers have found a new way to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.

New windows could generate electricity

UCLA researchers have developed a new transparent solar cell that could allow windows to generate electricity.

Liquid solar cells can be painted onto windows

Scientists at the University of Southern California have taken a big step towards the creation of solar cells in the form of a liquid ink that can be painted or printed onto clear surfaces.

3D design increases solar cell output

MIT researchers are working on 3D solar towers that, they say, give a  power output of up to 20 times that of fixed flat panels with the same base area.

Tandem polymer solar cells set energy-conversion record

UCLA scientists say they've significantly enhanced polymer solar cells' performance by building a new 'tandem' device that combines multiple cells with different absorption bands.

Team beefs up solar cell efficiency

University of Cambridge scientists have developed a new type of solar cell that could increase the maximum efficiency of solar panels by over 25 percent.

Concentrated PV helps keep crops growing


A team of German industrial researchers says concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) systems that focus light on to solar cells can provide an effective alternative for powering remote irrigation networks.

Are plants more efficient than solar panels?

A debate rages in the scientific community over which is more efficient at harvesting solar energy: a plant or a solar cell?

Viruses do assembly work for solar cells

Researchers at MIT have enlisted viruses to help assemble solar cells and improve their performance.

Stretchable solar cells power artificial 'super skin'

Stanford researcher Zhenan Bao has created 'super skin' - so sensitive to pressure it can feel a fly touch down, and powered by flexible, stretchable solar cells.