Of all the renewable energy technologies, solar power has the potential to generate the most energy. But if solar power is ever to match the price of today's fossil fuel-generated electricity, prices of panels need to drop considerably. Researchers are making rapid progress on two technologies that hope to do just that. The first produces solar cells from plastics and other organic compounds. The second uses tiny inorganic nanoscale wires to capture the sun's energy. How do these new technologies capture sunlight? How do scientists use nanotechnology to create these cells? And how can they help solar panels churn out more power for less money?
Join us for a live chat about solar cell technology at 3 p.m. EST on Thursday, 8 December, on this page. You can leave your questions in the comment box below before the chat starts.
Deli Wang is an associate professor in electrical and computer engineering. His current research interests include nanomaterials, nanofabrication, electronics, optoelectronics, and renewable energy. Deli Wang has published more than 50 scientific articles and hold 5 US or pending patents.
Alan J. Heeger
Alan J. Heeger's research group at UC Santa Barbara continues to study aspects of the science and technology of semiconducting and metallic polymers with focus on the gate-induced insulator-to-metal transition in polymer Field Effect Transistors and low cost “plastic” solar cells. Current interests also include biosensors for the detection of specific targeted sequences on DNA, the detection of specific proteins and the detection of biologically relevant small molecules.