3rd November 2008 – Emulating Biology to make Thin Film Solar Cells

Professor Paul O’Brien from Manchester University returned to inform and entertain us, yet again.

Paul led our very first SciBAr on the topic of Nanotechnology and returned to lead our discussion on what’s new in Nanotechnology and discuss with us how he is trying to emulate photosynthesis in plants using microscopically thin films of non biological material. He focussed very strongly on solar power generation and the need to reduce the costs and improve the packaging rather than focus on improving efficiency. He pointed out that if the world’s energy usage was 13 units the sunlight falling on the earth was 100,000 units so a very low efficiency would be sufficient, provided it was cheap and robust.

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