Scientists replace platinum three-dimensional graphene in solar cells




On the way solar energy are many obstacles, including economic ones. In the production of solar cells using one of the most expensive metals on our planet: platinum. Even a small amount makes the solar cells is very expensive. After all, all for one ounce (~ 28.35 grams) of silver metal to pay 1000 USD 500. But it seems that scientists have finally found a way to replace the precious platinum cheap three-dimensional graphene. Yes, modern science has to think not only about how to create a wire that can withstand extremely low temperatures , but also on how to make your design uncomplicated and inexpensive to implement.

Scientists from Michigan Technological University Yong Han Hu, as well as Carroll and Charles MacArthur developed a new and, most importantly, inexpensive material, called 3D-graphene, that is three-dimensional graphene. He is able to replace platinum in solar cells without the loss of the its effectiveness.

Common is two-dimensional graphene form of carbon, the thickness of only one molecule, or close thereto. Scientists were able to synthesize a unique three-dimensional version of their structure resembles a honeycomb. For this purpose they are combined with lithium oxide, carbon monoxide. As a result of the chemical reaction turned lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) and graphene in the form of honeycomb.

Li2CO3 allows graphene sheets to keep fit and isolates them from one another, preventing the formation of conventional graphite. Besides, Li2CO3 particles can be easily removed from the honeycomb-like three-dimensional structure of graphene with an acid.

Scientists say excellent electrical conductivity and high catalytic activity of the new material. This would allow its use in drives and power converters. Three-dimensional graphene can replace platinum electrodes in solar cells. So they did. The battery is placed under the sun and looked at the results.

A solar cell with an electrode of a new three-dimensional graphene is converted into electricity 7.8% of the solar energy. The element with a platinum electrode result close 8%. The process of synthesis of such a three-dimensional graphene honeycomb honey, as the Han Yun Hu is neither expensive nor difficult. So much difficulty in the way of implementation of the new material is not expected.

Modern science is working on many fronts at once. Among many other things, it creates an unusually capacious battery and reduces the cost of solar energy.
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Tags: Graphene , Solar Energy , Energy .


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