Researchers are restless in search to develop more efficient and reliable solar technologies. Recently, a team of U.S. and Chinese scientists teamed together to figure out an inventive technique of growing uniform TiO2 - titanium dioxide - nanorods on substrate carbon fibers. Well, these semiconducting nanorods look like flexible bristles on a small hairbrush, which can be utilized to develop many novel solar applications.
The much-highlighted feature of the flexible solar technology is that it can capture sunlight and heat from every direction. The conventional flat solar cells need to be placed firm and they can only produce electricity if the sun is over them. The new Titania semiconducting nanorods can also generate more power than the conventional solar cells, researchers say.
Far more astonishingly, these solar cells can be woven into clothes and papers for more innovative applications. Imagine of getting a robe that can produce power from sun as you are out for the usual sunbathe. Doesn’t it sound great? According to Wenxi Guo, co-author of the study, this technology can be well applied to flexible devices to harvest and store sustainable energy.
The researchers undertook the rectangular bundled nanorods for various tests for its solar efficiency. It was found that they can provide an efficiency of 1.28 percent. It is a huge development when compared with the 0.76 percent of the unbundled nanorod configuration.
The research to grow TiO2 nanorods on carbon fibers was conducted by the researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A and the Xiamen University in Xiamen, China. They published their study results in a recent edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.