Nanotube Solar Cell

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are developing a new type of solar panel that has a thin layer of carbon nanotubes. This new technology improves performance of solar panel as it takes advantage of infrared that ordinarily go to waste. It also make it easier to store the energy for later use.

The researchers at MIT say that the carbon nanotubes have an increase in temperature after being heated by the sun. Once heated the nanotubes heat a photonic crystal layer that generates light. That light emitted can then be turned into electricity using photovoltaic systems. The new process is described in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

The researchers believe that using the carbon nanotubes will greatly improve the efficiency of panels over 80%; current panels have an efficiency of 33.7%.