Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 18


Etching photovoltaics Researchers at Michigan Technological University and Aalto University found a way to reduce production costs of black silicon solar cells by more than 10%. The first prototype modules have been manufactured on an industrial production line. Typically, the silicon used for solar cells is etched to reduce reflected light, although some light is still lost. Nano-texturing... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 20


Energy-harvesting fabric Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Chongqing University in China developed a fabric that can simultaneously harvest energy from both sunshine and motion. The fabric, just .32mm thick, was constructed using a commercial textile machine to weave together solar cells constructed from lightweight polymer fibers with fiber-based triboelectric nanoge... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 2


From sun to hydrocarbon fuel Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have engineered a solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel, using only sunlight for energy. Unlike conventional solar cells, which convert sunlight into electricity that must be stored in heavy batteries, the new device converts atmosph... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 17


Artificial photosynthesis: leaves of nickel Inspired by a chemical process found in leaves, Caltech scientists developed an electrically conductive film that could help pave the way for devices capable of harnessing sunlight to split water into hydrogen fuel. When applied to semiconducting materials (it's been tested with silicon, indium phosphide, and cadmium telluride), the team's film ... » read more