Stanford Scientists Build the First All-Carbon Solar Cell
Researchers have developed a solar cell made entirely of carbon, an inexpensive substitute for the pricey materials used in conventional solar panels.
Stanford Professor Zhenan Bao talks about the carbon solar cell research.
Stanford University scientists have built the first solar cell made entirely of carbon, a promising alternative to the expensive materials used in photovoltaic devices today. The results are published in today’s online edition of the journal ACS Nano.
“Carbon has the potential to deliver high performance at a low cost,” said study senior author Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a working solar cell that has all of the components made of carbon. This study builds on previous work done in our lab.”
Unlike rigid silicon solar panels that adorn many rooftops, Stanford’s thin film prototype is made of carbon materials that can be coated from solution. “Perhaps in the future we can look at alternative markets where flexible carbon solar cells are coated on the surface of buildings, on windows or on cars to generate electricity,” Bao said.