11 Feb '12, 12pm

Stanford Engineers’ Nanoshell Whispering Galleries Improve Thin Solar Panels

Stanford Engineers’ Nanoshell Whispering Galleries Improve Thin Solar Panels

Visitors to Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building may have experienced a curious acoustic feature that allows a person to whisper softly at one side of the cavernous, half-domed room and for another on the other side to hear every syllable. Sound whisks around the semi-circular perimeter of the room almost without flaw. The phenomenon is known as a whispering gallery. In a paper published in Nature Communications , a team of engineers at Stanford describes how it has created tiny hollow spheres of photovoltaic nanocrystalline-silicon and harnessed physics to do for light what whispering galleries do for sound. The results, say the engineers, could dramatically cut materials usage and processing cost. “Nanocrystalline-silicon is a great photovoltaic material. It has a high electrical efficiency and is durable in the harsh sun,” said Shanhui Fan, an associate professor ...

Full article: http://cleantechnica.com/2012/02/11/stanford-engineers-na...

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Nanoshell "Whispering Galleries" Trap Light in Solar Cells

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