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Print your own solar panels...Far Out!

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posted on Aug, 3 2007 @ 03:38 PM
Thanks for the new link.

Much thought needs to go into addressing the concerns with nanotechnology, especially nanobiotechnology which is more likely to cause problems from more "evolving" organic compounds.

Using carbon in the process of creating this solar paint would maybe cut the chances of any unwanted effects.

I'm sure that now this product is being refined and prepared (we hope) for the marketplace, a stable, reliable and easy method is made available to all for any solar power application.

"Green Goo" certainly does sound nasty, I wonder if it has anything to do with the strange algae that has been found floating off the coast of the USA?

[edit on 3/8/2007 by nerbot]

posted on Aug, 3 2007 @ 03:45 PM
Naw, Algae blooms are due to fertilizer runoff mostly, though I heard a while back that some of it may be from a GM species that got loose.

[edit on 3-8-2007 by sardion2000]

posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 06:12 AM
This story has been making the rounds - I'm not sure why NJIT is making such a fuss except perhaps just the attention. At any rate, this field of study isn't new - polymer electronics have been in research labs for about 20 years or so. Solar applications have been getting attention over the past ten years, perhaps, but neither Mitra nor NJIT are big names in the field nor has this guy presented much of substance here (bulk heterojunction polymer-fullerene solar cells is my job, btw) .

First - the stuff isn't like paint. It's an organic solution of the plastic and the buckyballs which must be applied in clean, laboratory conditions to rather exacting tolerances. The substrate onto which you coat the material must be transparent and electrically conductive (a tricky combination) while the film you deposit must dry to an even thickness on the order of 100 nanometres. On top of this one must also deposit a top-conductor to complete the circuit. Just painting it on a car is not likely to ever happen.

Second, this guy has ruined these devices. I and all of my colleagues make these every day - simply with polymer and buckyballs they are about 3-4% efficient. This guy had the great idea of adding nanotubes to increase conductivity (something which has been tried already by others) and ended up with worse devices (about 0.5% efficient). If anything, Heeger and his group should be the one in the news :

Nature Materials 6, 497 - 500 (2007) [link]

where they showed an increase from 3% to 5.5% in the same cells with a new additive. Much more newsworthy than Mitra press-releasing an ordinary lab result of dubious promise.

For comparison, at any rate, commercial silicon cell modules are about 16-18% efficient. The big problem for the polymer devices so far is lifetime. The materials are quite sensitive to moisture and oxygen and degrade after a few thousand hours (at best). Solar panels aren't so hot if they don't work for more than a month so the research continues. Closer to reality is going to be more like flexible panels (which I'm working on at the moment) rather than paint - plastic film, rollable, etc, embedded on rucksacks or jackets (charge your phone in your pocket...) that sort of thing.

posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 07:42 AM
Thank for your reply justin-d, you are obviously a lot more in touch with this subject than most people.

It's a shame that some scientists love blowing trumpets and shouting about their fantastic claims.

If you have any further developments you can share with us that would be great.

I suppose most of us are frustrated that we cannot have easier access to a user-friendly solar technology that we can put to use on homemade applications.

Thankyou for your insight into this subject and keep us updated here will you.


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