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Study on photovoltaic cells is Hot Article

Replace photovoltaic panels with windows capable of producing electricity? A study by LaserLab at the University of Coimbra (UC) on third-generation photovoltaic cells, more efficient and lower cost compared to current systems, has taken a step towards the future development of windows that turn sunlight into electricity. The results were recently published in the Dalton Transactions journal, in a HOT Article.

Funded by FCT and LaserLab Europe, and coordinated by Carlos Serpa and Hugh Burrows, the study evaluated the potential of some Platinum compounds to convert solar energy into electricity. Using a sensitive photoacoustic calorimetry method, it was possible to determine the degree of efficiency of electron transfer from these Platinum compounds linked to a set of organic molecules to a semiconductor material, in order to produce electricity in a rational use of solar energy.


The Platinum compounds studied, explains Carlos Serpa, "present as a great advantage their capacity of intense absorption in the visible and in part of the near infrared spectrum. In simple terms, if we think about the colors of the rainbow, these Platinum compounds have a strong ability to absorb a large part of these colors, especially the red color, more difficult to capture. This is an essential feature for the efficient transformation of sunlight into electrical energy."

However, as the researcher explains, "it was found that the lifetime of the compound in the state required for transformation into electricity is very short, competing with the transfer of electrons to the electrical circuit. Therefore, further studies are still needed, which involve the modification of the molecules surrounding the Platinum atom, thus changing the properties of the compound to obtain the most favorable conditions for the transformation of the captured sunlight into electricity.