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Posted Wed Apr 25 2012: from Michigan Technical University, via EurekAlert:
Graphene boosts efficiency of next-gen solar cells
The coolest new nanomaterial of the 21st century could boost the efficiency of the next generation of solar panels, a team of Michigan Technological University materials scientists has discovered. Graphene, a two-dimensional honeycomb of carbon atoms, is a rising star in the materials community for its radical properties.... In dye-sensitized solar cells, photons knock electrons from the dye into a thin layer of titanium dioxide, which relays them to the anode. Hu's group found that adding graphene to the titanium dioxide increased its conductivity, bringing 52.4 percent more current into the circuit.... The team also developed a comparably foolproof method for creating sheets of titanium dioxide embedded with graphene. It first made graphite oxide powder, then mixed it with titanium dioxide to form a paste, spread it on a substrate (such as glass) and then baked it a high temperatures. "It's low-cost and very easy to prepare," said Hu.
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'Doc Michael says:
What say we start ramping up solar, while we still have a civilization to do it?

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