Tuesday, July 10, 2012

US Patent 8216436 - Hetero-nanostructures for solar energy conversion


Titanium dioxide is well known to be useful for solar cells but has limited implementations due to low conductivity, poor absorption in the visible range of the solar spectrum, and the lack of matching p-type materials. This patent from the Trustees of Boston College teaches a heterostructure formed from nanobeams of silicide and TiO2 materials which may help overcome these limitations. Claim 1 reads:

1. A hetero-nanostructure comprising

a plurality of connected and spaced-apart nanobeams linked together at an about 90-degree angle,

the plurality of nanobeams including a conductive silicide core having an n-type photoactive titanium dioxide shell.