Home | Tech & Innovation | Sun-Free Photovoltaics

Sun-Free Photovoltaics

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
image A variety of silicon chip micro-reactors developed by the MIT team (Credit: Photo by Justin Knight)

Materials Engineered to Give Off Precisely Tuned Wavelengths of Light When Heated.

A new photovoltaic energy-conversion system developed at MIT can be powered solely by heat, generating electricity with no sunlight at all. While the principle involved is not new, a novel way of engineering the surface of a material to convert heat into precisely tuned wavelengths of light -- selected to match the wavelengths that photovoltaic cells can best convert to electricity -- makes the new system much more efficient than previous versions.

The key to this fine-tuned light emission, described in the journal Physical Review A, lies in a material with billions of nanoscale pits etched on its surface. When the material absorbs heat -- whether from the sun, a hydrocarbon fuel, a decaying radioisotope or any other source -- the pitted surface radiates energy primarily at these carefully chosen wavelengths.

For more on this article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110730180245.htm

Source: Science Daily / University of Toronto

Share/Bookmark

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (0 posted):

total: | displaying:

Post your comment comment

Please enter the code you see in the image:

Member Login
Translation Tool
Article Tools
  • email Email to a friend
  • print Print version
  • Plain text Plain text
  • Publish my own news Submit an article
  • Share/Bookmark
Tags
No tags for this article
Submit your story
Click here to
Navigate archive
first first April, 2014 first first
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30
Poll: PV Platform
What PV platform do you use most often?