Nano solar energy from Australia
Kylie Catchpole, now at Australian National University, and colleague Albert Polman are showing what nanotechnology can do for solar energy.
When a thin coating of nanoscopic (a billionth of a metre in size) metal particles are placed onto a solar cell the nanoparticles "cause the incoming sunlight to scatter more fully, keeping more of the light inside the solar cell. Second, varying the size and material of the particles allows researchers to improve light capture at otherwise poorly-performing colours".
Enhancing our ability to capture energy from the sun has tremendous environmental, political and social implications. I look forward to saying farewell to oil dependence and to the dictators who provide the oil.