Thursday, January 20, 2011

Better solar cells with Buddhist singing bowls

Niraj Lal, University of Cambridge, will talk on "Making solar cells better with Buddhist singing bowls" at the Australian National University in Canberra, 3pm, 10 February 2011. The title of the talk refers to the bowl shaped nano-structures used to make the solar cells more efficient:

"Making solar cells better with Buddhist singing bowls "

Niraj Lal (University of Cambridge)


DATE: 2011-02-10
TIME: 15:00:00 - 16:00:00
LOCATION: Ian Ross Seminar Room

The ability to structure materials on the nanoscale has opened new approaches to light trapping for solar cells. Particularly promising is the use of plasmonic resonances of metal nanoparticles and nanostructured surfaces to enhance absorption in thin-film PV materials. The work presented in this talk demonstrates a new class of plasmonic photovoltaic enhancement: that of localized-plasmon enhanced absorption within nanovoid structures. The talk introduces plasmonic photonics, describes some of the photovoltaic work occurring in the UK, and reports first cells fabricated within nanosized Buddhist singing bowls that yield a four-fold enhancement in overall power conversion efficiency. Nanovoids also show a spatial distribution of light intensity within the void that varies for different wavelengths, suggesting a first step towards plasmonic enhancement for third-generation solar cells.

Niraj Lal graduated as the Angus Nicholson Honours Scholar from the ANU in 2007 with a BSc (Hons) in physics under the supervision of Professor Andrew Blakers at the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems. He is currently studying as a Gates Cambridge Scholar for a PhD from the NanoPhotonics Group of the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK. Before starting his PhD, Nij worked in science communication - travelling across regional and remote Western Australia with Scitech delivering shows about slime, bubbles and hands-on science to primary-school kids.

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