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Silicon Nanowires for Efficient Solar Power Generation


Invention: The University of Florida is seeking companies interested in using silicon nanowires to increase efficiency of energy conversion for photovoltaic and photoemissive devices. Current research has demonstrated promising results for a cost-effective and eco-friendly approach over traditional energy sources. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed specialized silicon nanowires and integrated them into devices to demonstrate higher conversion efficiencies. Research has also demonstrated promising results for increased absorption and energy dispersal without the risk of thermal consequences typically associated with such increases. Technology: Through the development of an interpenetrated network this new solar panel layer allows for the increase in power dissipation across photovoltaic cells. By depositing three separate layers of n and p-type nanowires the surface area contact between the top and bottom levels is increased allowing for the emission of more light at higher injected currents than currently possible with typical planar methods. Moreover the device is not limited in the types of materials involved in the network interpenetration and can be capitalized upon in a number of different fabrications. Its construction also allows for protection against thermal damages often associated with an increase in power dissipation and helps overcome many of the typical barriers connected to a single plane structure. The morphology of the nanowires suggested for the method are also conducive to energy efficiency and allow for even higher energy yields than previously imagined. Application: Highly efficient and easily maintainable films allowing for superior-powered solar cells. (Including photoemissive detection devices solar powered transportation systems and power plants).

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