Australian Researchers Control Solar With A ‘Twist’

Australian National University Researchers Experiment With Twisting Angles Between 2D Ultra-Thin Layers To Create Possibility For Ultra-Thin Solar Cells

Australian Researchers Control Solar With A ‘Twist’

The team of (l to r) Dr. Hieu Nguyen and Mike Tebyetekerwa’s research work to twist angles to better control sunlight conversion into electricity has found its way into the science journal Cell Reports Physical Science. (Photo Credit: The Australian National University)

  • ANU researchers have figured out a twisted angle to better control sunlight conversion into electricity
  • They stacked 2 atom-thin layers of 2D materials together that are 100,000 times thinner than a single sheet of paper
  • Team believes twisting the angle between the 2 layers correctly can be helpful in the development of solar cells

A team of researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) claim to have figured out a way to control the ability of 2D materials to convert sunlight into electricity, by twisting the angle between the 2 layers correctly, a step that they believe can be hugely helpful in the development of solar cells and other applications as LED lights and sensing devices.

In their report titled Twist-driven wide freedom of indirect interlayer exciton emission in MoS2/WS2 heterobilayers, published in Cell Reports Physical Science journal, the team said they used a new class of 2D materials that are 100,000 times thinner than a single sheet of paper.

“We’re looking at 2D materials that have just 2 atom-thin layers stacked together,” explained Lead Author of the report Mike Tebyetekerwa. “This unique structure and large surface area make them efficient at transferring and converting energy.

For their research, the 2 different 2D materials MoS2/WS2 heterobilayers—100,000 times thinner than a single sheet of paper—were stacked together to move positive and negative charges in opposite directions, generating electricity.

“The nature of the stacking and coupling in heterobilayers dictates and provides opportunities to tune electronic and optical properties of TMDs at the atomic-size dimension limit, which is key to realizing a new class of optoelectronic and valleytronic devices—the twistronics,” reads the research.

Choosing the matching pair and stacking them in a particular way is the key, reminds Co-Author of the report Dr. Hieu Nguyen.

For this research, ANU had secured financial backing from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in January 2021 (see AUD 4.5 Million Funding For ANU Solar Research).

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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