Argonne National Laboratory Solar Energy Systems U.S. Department of Energy

Research: Next-Generation Photovoltaic Technologies

Low density silica aerogels coated with ultrathin films using atomic layer deposition for the fabrication of low-cost, high efficiency solar cells.

Commercialization of low-cost nanostructured solar cells

Argonne and Northwestern University have developed a novel, nanostructured solar cell that offers the potential for dramatic cost savings and wide scale, sustainable deployment compared to existing photovoltaics in the marketplace. This new solar cell is based on the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) concept, but it uses a unique architecture that overcomes limitations inherent to conventional DSSCs. By combining aerogel synthesis and atomic layer deposition technologies, Argonne and Northwestern researchers have achieved dramatic enhancement in the photoanode charge transport of these devices. The current effort is dedicated towards optimizing the performance of these nanostructured solar cells and also streamlining their fabrication. The successful outcome of this research will be technology for pilot-scale manufacturing of these devices.



March 2010


Jeff Elam

Alex Martinson


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