The First All-Carbon Solar Cell
Stanford University scientists have built the first solar cell made entirely of carbon, a promising alternative to the expensive materials used in photovoltaic devices today.
“Carbon has the potential to deliver high performance at a low cost,” said Zhenan Bao, senior author of the study, which was published online in the journal ACS Nano. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a working solar cell that has all of the components made of carbon.” Unlike rigid silicon solar panels that adorn many rooftops, Stanford’s thin film prototype is made of carbon materials that can be coated from solution. “Perhaps in the future we can look at alternative markets where flexible carbon solar cells are coated on the surface of buildings, on windows or on cars to generate electricity,” Bao said.