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Environment Related Articles:

College of Illinois Scientists Present Us Little Known Methods to Produce More Effective Photo voltaic panels



Although silicon is actually the industry standard semiconductor in almost all electronic products, including the pv cells that sun panels utilize to convert sun rays into energy, it is not really the most cost-efficient material available. For example, the semiconductor gallium arsenide and similar substance semiconductors provide nearly double the efficiency as silicon in solar units, yet they are rarely utilized in utility-scale applications because of their excessive production price.

U. of I.  teachers J. Rogers and X. Li investigated lower-cost techniques to produce thin films of gallium arsenide which also granted flexibility in the types of devices they could be incorporated into.

If you can minimize significantly the cost of gallium arsenide and some other compound semiconductors, then you could develop their variety of applications.

Generally, gallium arsenide is transferred in a individual thin layer on a smaller wafer. Either the desired device is produced directly on the wafer, or the semiconductor-coated wafer is break up into chips of the ideal size. The Illinois team made the decision to put in several layers of the material on a simple wafer, creating a layered, “pancake” stack of gallium arsenide thin films.



If you increase ten levels in 1 growth, you only have to load the wafer one time. If you do this in 10 growths, loading and unloading with heat range ramp-up and ramp-down get a lot of time. If you take into account what is necessary for each growth – the equipment, the research, the period, the workers – the overhead saving this solution offers is a significant expense reduction.

Next the researchers separately peel off the levels and move them. To achieve this, the stacks swap levels of aluminum arsenide with the gallium arsenide. Bathing the stacks in a formula of acid and an oxidizing agent dissolves the layers of aluminum arsenide, freeing the single thin sheets of gallium arsenide. A soft stamp-like system selects up the layers, one at a time from the top down, for shift to another substrate – glass, plastic-type or silicon, based on the application. Then the wafer could be reused for an additional growth.

By executing this it's possible to create significantly more material a lot more rapidly and much more cost efficiently. This process could create bulk amounts of material, as opposed to merely the thin single-layer manner in which it is usually grown.

Freeing the material from the wafer also opens the possibility of flexible, thin-film electronics produced with gallium arsenide or some other high-speed semiconductors. To make devices that can conform but still retain high efficiency, that’s considerable.

In a document released online May twenty in the publication Nature, the group details its procedures and demonstrates 3 types of products using gallium arsenide chips manufactured in multilayer stacks: light devices, high-speed transistors and photo voltaic cells. The authors also supply a detailed price evaluation.

An additional advantage of the multilayer approach is the release from area constraints, particularly essential for photo voltaic cells. As the levels are eliminated from the stack, they may be laid out side-by-side on another substrate in order to produce a significantly larger surface area, whereas the typical single-layer procedure confines area to the size of the wafer.

For solar panels, you need large area coverage to catch as much sunshine as possible. In an extreme case we may increase sufficient levels to have ten times the area of the traditional.

Up coming, the team plans to investigate more prospective device applications and additional semiconductor resources that could adapt to multilayer growth.

About the Publisher - Shannon Combs gives advice for the residential solar power products blog site, her personal hobby blog based on suggestions to assist home owners to save energy with solar power.  Complete Bio Photo of the Author .
 

 

 

 

The best visible signal of worldwide global warming: the melting away of glaciers in the Alps.

In the summer of 2003, for example, the “eternal ice cap” of the Alps lost five to ten percent of its volume. A unique type of landscape is threatened in its existence. Do we belong to the last generation that can admire the magnificent giants of ice?

This first picture is the view from the Gornergrat, above Zermatt in Switzerland. The red arrows show the line of how high the glaciers once reached at this location

 

These 3 images show the Rhone Glacier, first 2 taken around 1914 and the last one from September 2006 and you clearly see by comparing the last to pictures of how much the ice has receded, as the new image shows all of the lower part of that glacier is completely gone, showing only the carved stones left behind.


TheGuardian — October 15, 2008 — Glaciers in the Tian Mountains in western China are melting because of global warming. Jonathan Watts went to see how this affects local people:

With the melting of the glaciers along comes the melting of the so called permafrost, the earth and stones layers that where permanently frozen, with the melting away we see more erosion going on putting at risk many alpine villages and infrastructures like roads and railways etc. On the other side the glaciers are today a reservoir for water giving it up slowly in summertime but once gone there will be no more reservoir and many rivers my dry out.

For more on the effects on global warming on the glaciers see also: " Wo sind unsere Gletscher " and the exhibition Glaciers in the Hothouse at the Swiss Alpine Museum.
And here this article in German from Siegel Online: Schweizer Alpen nicht mehr winterfest.


 

Planet Under Pressure

With humanity demanding more from the Earth than ever before, BBC News explores the planet's most pressing environmental problems in a six-part series. Click here for this series from BBC.


 

Litter Decomposition Rates

Aluminum Can 80-100 years
Glass Bottles/Jars 1,000,000 years
Rubber Boot Soles 50-80 years
Leather up to 50 years
Nylon Materials 30-40 years
Plastic Bags/Disposable Diapers 10-20 years
Plastic Coated Paper 5 years
Wool Cap 1-5 years
Cigarette Butts 1-5 years
Orange or Banana Peel 2-5 weeks
Newspaper 2-4 weeks

More facts on Recycling see this article here.

Tips for Reducing Solid Waste here.

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