Lecture_10_Applications

Lecture_10_Applications - Chem 310 Lecture Module 10 Some...

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Chem 310 Lecture Module 10 Some Applications of Inorganic Transition Metal Chemistry in the Real World
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•Solar cells are photovoltaic devices - convert light into electricity. Traditional Solar Cells p gy •Offer an inexhaustible and environmentally benign energy source. •Solar cells are made of amorphous silicon, or better - CuInSe 2 •They have to be of a very high purity and be defect-free. Very expensive. he efficienc of s ch a cell is also er small con erts 13 8 % of s nlight to electricit •The efficiency of such a cell is also very small, converts 13-18 % of sunlight to electricity. •Low efficiency wouldn’t matter if huge arrays of cells could be produced cheaply. •Nature’s solar cells, chloroplasts in plants, are less than 1 % efficient. Most solar powered devices rely on the same principle: a photon of sunlight boosts an electron in the material into a mobile state so that it can be used to generate electricity. he problem with this? The electrons are negatively charged will leave a The problem with this? The electrons are negatively charged, will leave a positive charge. These opposite charges attract one another and will tend to recombine The absorbed energy is squandered as heat or as re-emitted light. Silicon or CuInSe 2 solar cells use an electric field to push the negatively charged electrons and positive charges apart. Chloroplasts adopt a more subtle approach: separate charges by making a istinction between units that generate the electron and those that transport it distinction between units that generate the electron and those that transport it.
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Traditional Solar Cells cont’d Light shining on crystalline silicon frees electrons within the crystal lattice. For these electrons to do useful work — they must be separated and directed into an electrical circuit.
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This note was uploaded on 02/28/2011 for the course CHEM 310 taught by Professor Nazar during the Fall '09 term at Waterloo.

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Lecture_10_Applications - Chem 310 Lecture Module 10 Some...

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