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Nanotech Film Could Boost Solar Efficiency

nanostructure filmChemical Engineers at Oregon State University have come up w/ a way to deposit a “nanostructure film” on a multitude of surfaces.  The film will essentially make solar cells less reflective and able to absorb more photons for conversion of light to energy.  This new technology will enable solar cells to perform better at a lower price.  What makes this technology even more convenient is that it can be applied on site in a dispenser’s office.  No special manufacturing process is needed.

The process involves a chemical bath and a microreactor that would bind the film to various surfaces such as glass, plastic, silicon or aluminum.  The “carpet-like” surface deposited would then be able to absorb more light.

This new film could make eyeglasses lighter, reduce glare, and block ultraviolet light.  Another application of the film is in camera lenses.  So pictures can be taken in dimmer light as the lens would be able to pass more light.

“There’s really a whole range of things this technology may ultimately be useful for,” said Chih-hung Chang, an associate professor in the OSU Department of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering. “They should be able to make almost any type of solar energy system work more efficiently, and ultimately could be used in cameras or other types of lenses.”

The nanostructure film is patent pending, and the researchers are still working on a faster, less costly, and ultimately more efficient way to apply the film so that it is as consumer-friendly as possible.

via oregonstate.edu and treehugger

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