Graphene can be used to harness solar power

Graphene, which was discovered in 2004 by Manchester University scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, can help in harnessing solar power, some researchers believe.

Researchers have long been trying to find potential applications for use of the lightweight, harder-than-a-diamond material.

Now, a group of researchers from the University of Manchester and National University of Singapore have found a way build multi-layered hetero-structures in a 3-dimensional stack to create an exciting physical phenomenon to explore new electronic devices.

The researchers also found that blending graphene with other one-atom thick materials could help produce next-generation solar cells as well as optoelectronic devices.

Speaking on the topic, Professor Novoselov said, “We are excited about the new physics and new opportunities which are brought to us by hetero-structures based on 2D atomic crystals. Such photoactive hetero-structures add yet new possibilities, and pave the road for new types of experiments.”

As the material can be applied as paint on a building, it could lead to electric energy that runs entire buildings produced by sunlight absorbed by its exposed walls.

The breakthrough published in the most recent edition of journal Science.