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INFRARED PLASTIC SOLAR CELL

-A product of nanotechnology
Arun Nath RL Department of Electrical Engineering Sivaji College of Engineering & Technology Manivila, (Nr.Neyyattinkara) Arunkannan93@gmail.com Sajeev P Department of Electrical Engineering Sivaji College of Engineering & Technology Manivila, (Nr.Neyyattinkara sajeevptvm@gmail.com

ABSTRACT Nanotechnology is the nexus of sciences. Nanotechnology is the engineering of tiny machines - the projected ability to build things from the bottom up using techniques and tools being developed today to make complete, highly advanced products. It includes anything smaller than 100 nanometers with novel properties. As the pool of available resources is being exhausted, the demand for resources that are everlasting and eco-friendly is increasing day by day. One such form is the solar energy. The advent of solar energy just about solved all the problems. As such solar energy is very useful. But the conventional solar cells that are used to harness solar energy are less efficient and cannot function properly on a cloudy day. The use of nanotechnology in the solar cells created an opportunity to overcome this problem, thereby increasing the efficiency. This paper deals with an

offshoot

in

the

advancement

of

nanotechnology, its implementation in solar cells and its advantage over the conventional commercial solar cell. Keywords: Photovoltaic cells, LED INTODUCTION: WHAT IS NANOTECHNOLOGY? The pursuit of nanotechnology comprises a wide variety of disciplines: chemistry, physics, mechanical engineering, materials science, molecular biology, and computer science.

they make use of solar cell that coverts the energy from the sun into required form.In order to the miniaturization of integrated circuits well into the present century. defines the power (or wattage) that the solar cell can produce. together with the cell's voltage (which is a result of its built-in electric field or fields). a certain portion of it is absorbed within the semiconductor material. only 35% of the suns total energy falling on it could be judiciously used. the current can power a calculator. when light strikes OF CONVENTIONAL the cell. calculators to larger things like two wheelers. it is likely that present day. nano-scale or nanoelectronic device designs will be replaced with new designs for devices that take advantage of the quantum mechanical effects that dominate on the much smaller. But the basic difference lies in the absorption of the wavelength of light from the sun. The energy knocks electrons loose. This current. it is observed that. safer and smarter products for the home. for ammunition. Solar energy is really an abundant source that is renewable and pollution free. we can draw that current off to use externally. These properties of nanotechnology have been made use of in solar cells. Basically. PV cells also all have one or more electric fields that act to force electrons freed by light absorption to flow in a certain direction. . longer lasting. thus creating a problem. This means that the energy of the absorbed light is transferred to the semiconductor. Nanotechnology is often referred to as general purpose technology. nanometer scale. cleaner. and by placing metal contacts on the top and bottom of the PV cell. allowing them to flow freely. This major draw back led to the thought of development of a new type of solar cell embedded with nanotechnology. But by this type of solar cell. That is because in its mature form it will have significant impact on almost all industries and all areas of society. which is currently the most commonly used. cars etc. Conventional semiconductor solar cells are made by polycrystalline silicon or in the case of highest efficiency ones crystalline gallium arsenide. This flow of electrons is a current. The process involved in this is almost the same as explained earlier. 1. This form of energy has very wide applications ranging from small household items. for medicine and for industries for ages. It offers better built. this is not so favorable on cloudy days. Also. For example.WORKING SOLAR CELL: Basically conventional type solar cells Photovoltaic (PV) cells are made of special materials called semiconductors such as silicon.

This heat is emitted even by man and by animals. 35% of the sun’s energy into electricity. plastic solar cells can be manufactured in solution in a beaker without the need for clean rooms or vacuum chambers. The technology takes advantage of recent advances in nanotechnology . even when it is dark outside.1% of the earth’s surface with the solar farms we could replace all our energy habits with a source of power which is clear and renewable. The electrode layers and nanorod /polymer layers could be applied in separate coats. This could potentially displace other source of electrical production that produce green house gases like coal. But existing materials are only able to harness the sun’s visible light. And unlike today’s semiconductor-based photovoltaic devices. INFRARED PLASTIC SOLAR CELL: Scientists have invented a plastic solar cell that can turn the suns power into electric energy even on a cloudy day. 2. the other half lies in the infrared spectrum. The new material is first plastic compound that is able to harness infrared portion. If we could cover . While half of the sun’s power lies in the visible spectrum. This breakthrough made us to believe that plastic solar cells could one day become more efficient than the current solar cell. 7 volts. Every warm body emits heat. Plastic solar cells are not new. A large amount of sun’s energy could be harnessed through solar farms and used to power all our energy needs. WORKING OF PLASTIC SOLAR CELL: The solar cell created is actually a hybrid. A layer only 200 nanometers thick is sandwiched between electrodes and can produce at present about .Various developments regarding this field are explained below: 2. The plastic material uses nanotechnology and contains the 1stgeneration solar cells that can harness the sun’s invisible infrared rays. The researchers combined specially designed nano particles called quantum dots with a polymer to make the plastic that can detect energy in the infrared. comprised of tiny nanorods dispersed in an organic polymer or plastic. The first crude solar cells have achieved efficiencies of today’s standard commercial photovoltaics the best solar cell. making production fairly easy. which are very expensive semiconductor laminates convert at most.1. With further advances the new plastic solar cell could allow up to 30% of sun’s radiant energy to be harnessed completely when compared to only 6% in today plastic best plastic solar cells. Solar energy reaching the earth is 10000 times than what we consume.

The length of the nanorods may be approximately 60nanometers. which already are employed in commercial solar Significant improvements can be made in the plastic. nanorods mix. using minimal polymer. These are chemically pure clusters of 100 to 100000 atoms with dimensions of the order of a nanometer. creating a current.specifically the production of nanocrystals and nanorods.2 IMPROVEMENTS: Some of the obvious improvements include better light collection cells. The thickness. ideally packing the nanorods closer together. The hole is transferred to the plastic. Because of their small size. too. or even none-the nanorods would transfer their electrons more directly to the electrode. such as the absorption of different colors of light depending upon their size. APPLICATIONS:  Silicon possesses some nanoscale properties. 3. perpendicular to the electrodes. the nanorods are jumbled up in the polymer. a semi conducting material. This is being exploited in the development of a super thin disposable solar panel poster which could offer the rural dwellers a cheap and an alternative source of power. When they absorb light of a specific wavelength. which is known as a hole-carrier. they exhibit unusual and interesting properties governed by quantum mechanics. 2. The electron travels the length of the rod until it is collected by aluminium electrode. aiming for rods of diameter-7 nanometers to absorb as much sunlight as possible.Then the nanorods are mixed with a plastic semiconductor called p3htpoly-(3-hexylthiophene) a transparent electrode is coated with the mixture. they generate an electron plus an electron hole-a vacancy in the crystal that moves around just like an electron. An eventual solar cell has three layers each made of nanorods that absorb at different wavelength. and concentration. They also hope to tune the nanorods to absorb different colors to span the spectrum of sunlight. An aluminium acting electrode completed the device. or a billionth of a meter. 200 nanometers-a thousandth the thickness of a human hair-is a factor of 10 less coating than the as micron-thickness the back of semiconductor solar cells. In their first-generation solar cells. Most people living in remote areas are not linked to national electricity grid and use batteries or run their own generator to supply their power . and conveyed to the electrode. Nanorods are manufactured in a beaker containing cadmium selenide. Nanorods were made of a reliable size out of cadmium selenide. The nanorods act like wires. leading to losses of current via electron-hole recombination and thus lower efficiency.

consistent source of energy.thus having vast applications. 4. • Flexible. Disposal solar panels can be made in thin sheets with about 6-10 sheets stacked together and made into a poster can help them to some extent in this regard. 6. They are more effective when compared to the conventional solar cell. This poster could be mounted behind a window or attached to a cabinet. ADVANTAGES: Plastic solar cells are quite a lot useful in the coming future.  A hydrogen powered car painted with 5. which is not possible in low power the film could potentially convert energy into electricity to continually recharge the car’s battery. green. CONCLUSION: Plastic solar cells help in exploiting the infrared radiation from the suns rays.  One day solar farms consisting of plastic materials could be rolled across deserts to generate enough clear energy to supply the entire planet’s power needs. But chemists have found a way to make cheap plastic solar cells flexible enough to paint onto any surface and potentially able to provide electricity for wearable electronics or other devices.  Could possibly require higher maintenance and constant monitoring.  Relatively shorter life span when continuously exposed to sunlight.  Like paint the compound can also be • Conventional solar cells are only used for large applications with big budgets.needs. But the plastic solar cells are feasible as they can be even sewn into fabric.  Any chip coated in the material could power cell phone or other wireless devices. sprayed onto other materials and used as portable electricity. • • They are more efficient and more practical in application. This is very compact. This is because of the large number of advantages it has got. roller processed solar cells have the potential to turn the sun’s power into a clean. Some of the major advantages are: • They are considered to be 30% more efficient when compared to conventional solar cells. LIMITATIONS:  The biggest problem with this is cost effectiveness. But that could change with new material. Traditional solar cells are bulky panels. The major advantage they enjoy is that they can even work on cloudy days. .

A. C. modeling. Though at present.N. Nanomaterials: Synthesis. it could possibly solve the planets problem of depending too much on the fossil fuels. As explained earlier.G.near future as working photovoltaics and its application. 2.. 3. applications. without a chance of even polluting the environment. R.. 1996. cost is a major draw back. Thin film solar cells next generation Publishing: are Bristol in and that Philadelphia. Properties and Applications: Edelstein. Solar energy-fundamentals. They are more compact and less bulkier. Cammarata. S.the former.. Institute of Physics scientists direction. Eds. design.Y Hamakawa . Tiwari 4. it is bound be solved in the future REFERENCES: 1. if the solar farms can become a reality.