Carbon Nanotube Antennas Funnel Solar Energy into PV Cells

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MlT) have used single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) to concentrate solar energy. They believe such nanotubes could serve as antennas to capture and concentrate sunlight, allowing much smaller and more powerful solar arrays. They might also be useful for other applications that require light to be concentrated, such as night-vision goggles or telescopes.

“Instead of having your whole roof be a photovoltaic (PV) cell, you could have little spots that are tiny photovoltaic cells, with antennas that would drive photons into them,” says chemical engineering professor Michael Strano.

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The Editor

John G. Falcioni is Editor-in-Chief of Mechanical Engineering magazine, the flagship publication of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

November 2010

Twitter from John Falcioni

Twitter from Engineering for Change

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