Solar Power has been touted as the the future of energy production, and the counter to the impending energy crisis. But those bulky, expensive silicon solar panels we see on buildings seem too mild a solution, and somehow put the viability of the procedure itself into question. But how would you like to dip your brush into a box of everyday “Asian Paints”, just paint your home from the inside. Or better, how about those very heat rays that trouble you in summer, passing through a series of “Transducic” conversions to finally end up as power source to your Air Conditioners? Or imagine yourself getting your car repainted because the battery has ran out, or seeing the taxes you pay the government being used to paint park and pavements, and to thus power a wi-fi connection that spans entire city. Well the possibilities are endless, and make the ongoing researches on the idea incredibly vital.
The secret to this marvelous technology, is its composition. The Organic Photovoltaics (OPV) that make up this material are enhanced by metallic nano particles, which use the Plasmonic Effect to essentially trap solar energy by directing it to oscillate free electrons and electromagnetic waves between metals semiconductors. A thin layer of such a material, however, manage to produce an efficiency of just about 6 %, which is well below the universally accepted 10% threshold for commercial success of solar power. Researcher over the world are now moving over to graphene, and combining it with thin layer transition metal dichalcogenides (TDMC) to try and improve the applicability, and to reduce the size and price. The Current aims is to make this novelty as inexpensive as ordinary wall paint, and to increase its efficiency to such an extent that it can completely replace the conventional electricity generation techniques of today. And when you consider the amount of solar radiation that falls on the earth’s surface each second , this no longer seems as an empty dream. And the times may not be far when you go out to buy a new smartphone and come back with a pack of rainbow coloured mobiles paints, one for each day of the week.