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Kid invents new solar cell

by grimgraphix / September 18, 2008 4:06 AM PDT
William Yuan, a seventh-grader from Portland, OR, developed a three-dimensional solar cell that absorbs UV as well as visible light. The combination of the two might greatly improve cell efficienc

Wow, this is one of those no brainers that leaves you wondering why no one ever thought of it. I had never realized that solar cells were only gather energy from the visible light spectrum. Considering there is enough energy in UV light to cause a sun burn, it just seems natural that we would have been collecting energy from that, and other light spectrums.

Good job William !
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I hope he'll make sure to patent that
by Paul C / September 18, 2008 8:28 AM PDT

Methinks he'll be able to support his parents if he does...

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Good point. It's the UV, in fact,
by drpruner / September 18, 2008 5:07 PM PDT

that causes sunburn. Ordinary window glass stops much of it, but lets the infrared (IR) through. Quartz glass lets everything through, but has its own set of problems.
The links don't show exactly what is meant by "three-dimensional", but it sounds good.

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Another reason I am not worried...
by EdHannigan / September 18, 2008 9:07 PM PDT

There are all kinds of solutions and people will find them.

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There is a metamaterial that is interesting
by Dragon / September 19, 2008 10:55 AM PDT

When I read the article, I thought about solar cells (no they only talked about this new material, not potential apps.) This stuff is black...Very black. It absorbs virtually 100% of the light that hits it.

I'll post a link once I have time to find a source.

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