Award Winning Scientists Have Developed New Nanomaterials To Improve Clean Energy

2021-02-24   |   by CusiGO

Michael Glazer, a scientist at the Federal Institute of technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Paul livisatos, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, On Wednesday, they won the 13th BBVA basic science frontier Award for “fundamental discoveries that allow nanostructures to be used for energy conversion,” the minutes of the jury meeting said.

The discovery of the two scientists is the “foundation” for the development of new nanomaterials, which are being used in renewable energy production and the latest generation of electronic products. “The breakthrough work of GR ü tzel includes the invention of a dye-sensitized battery to simulate the development of solar cells Photosynthesis and improved solar power, “the jury said. Alivisates, on the other hand, uses nanocrystals to emit light and control color very precisely. Their work, in addition to making qled TV screens, also helps maximize the absorption and use of solar panels.

According to the jury, the two scientists were “pioneers in controlling light matter coupling through the use of nanomaterials.”. After winning the prize, Alivisatos said in a video conference: “Michael gr ü tzel has studied how to convert the light entering the system into electricity, and the application generated by my work is more about how to convert the energy into the light leaving the system and the light that people can use.”

The two winners are convinced that in the face of the threat of climate change and the need for large-scale production of renewable energy, their work has opened up new areas of research, which is one of the possible solutions in the field of science and technology. “Climate change,” said gertzer, “That’s our main challenge. We have to reduce fossil fuel use, and we have to increase the capacity of photovoltaic power generation 200 times over the next few decades.”

Alivisatos agrees and admits that part of the challenge is to learn how to make new materials to absorb energy from the sun with as little loss as possible. “We found that nanomaterials can be made with very high quality and relatively low cost. They can be used to absorb sunlight, so that they don’t lose energy in the form of heat, which can be converted into electricity more effectively. ”

Michael gr ü tzel is the first to combine molecular systems with nanoparticles to create a new type of solar cell that mimics photosynthesis. Their discovery aims to turn sunlight into a clean, efficient and cheap source of electricity on a large scale.

Photosynthesis is a natural process in which the leaves of plants convert sunlight into energy needed for growth, which gives Glazer inspiration. The new solar cell, named after him, uses a pigment similar to a leaf that absorbs sunlight and generates electrons. To generate energy, these electrons are collected and transported by a semiconductor material, in this case titanium dioxide.

According to the jury, GR ü tzel’s main contribution is to use titanium dioxide for nanoparticles rather than traditional silicon panels. Each of the titanium dioxide nanoparticles is coated with pigment, and the result is a liquid, which is used to make solar cells. “This is the first time that nanoparticles have been used to make photovoltaic cells, which no one has ever thought about before,” gr ü tzel explained through a video conference after learning about the failure. “The first time we tried it was exciting, and we were surprised because we achieved thousands of times more light into energy than we expected.”

Gr ü tzel graduated from the Department of chemistry of Berlin Free University in 1968, and received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Berlin Technical University in 1971. In 1991, he published his new photovoltaic solar cells in nature, It has been cited tens of thousands of times and produced dye-sensitized solar cells, also known simply as its inventor’s name: Glazer cell.

The development has created “thousands of patents” and “opened up a whole new field of research,” the researchers said. According to gr ü tzel, the advantages of these batteries are manifold: rich raw materials, cheap manufacturing processes, transparency (allowing them to be placed on Windows), flexibility and the ability to get power from ambient light, such as light in a room.

Alivisates nanocrystals, also known as quantum dots, have hundreds of applications, from the search for new clean energy to consumer electronics and biomedical imaging technologies. According to a researcher born in Chicago in 1959, “an electron in a nanocrystal can emit light, and the color of the light will depend on the size of the nanocrystal. If it’s small, the energy of light is greater, so it’s bluer. In this way, nanocrystals can be used to make materials that emit all the colors of nature

One of the most successful applications of alivisates nanocrystals is the display developed in the mid-1990s, which has now been incorporated into the qled TV. Alivisatos has demonstrated that it is possible to make them with high resolution and make them very energy efficient at the same time. “On the color screen,” the winner pointed out, “there is always a red, blue and green interaction in our eyes that reproduces all the colors around us.”

In addition, in the biomedical field, alivisates and his team have developed nanocrystals for dyeing biological samples – by adjusting the size of nanocrystals, liquids can label one or another cell. There are hundreds of biomedical imaging products based on quantum dots on the market.

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