Printable solar cells just got a little closer

A U of T Engineering innovation could make printing solar cells as easy and inexpensive as printing a newspaper. Dr. Hairen Tan and his team have cleared a critical manufacturing hurdle in the development of a relatively new class of solar devices called perovskite solar cells. This alternative solar technology could lead to low-cost, printable solar panels capable of turning nearly any surface into a power generator.

“Economies of scale have greatly reduced the cost of silicon manufacturing,” said Professor Ted Sargent, an expert in emerging solar technologies and the Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology. “Perovskite solar cells can enable us to use techniques already established in the printing industry to produce solar cells at very low cost. Potentially, perovskites and silicon cells can be married to improve efficiency further, but only with advances in low-temperature processes.”

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Women in STEM day

Here’s a little list of some of my favourite physicists and their inventions:

Lise Meitner, first discovered nuclear fission of uranium when it absorbed an extra neutron.

Fabiola Gianotti, several breakthroughs in experimental particle physics, CERN general director.

Emmy Noether, Noether’s theorem aka the milestone of theoretical physics & long list of incredible contributions to abstract algebra.

Grace Hopper, invented the first compiler for a computer programming language.

Mary Somerville, “The Magnetic Properties of the Violet Rays of the Solar Spectrum”.

Alicia Boole Stott, polytopes for a convex solid in four (or more) dimensions.

Helen Megaw, made measurements of the cell dimensions of ice and established the Perovskite crystal structure.

Lisa Randall, Randall–Sundrum model, also personal fav.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell, discovered pulsars.

Daphne Jackson, advances in the application of nuclear physics in medicine.

Maria Goeppert-Mayer, invented the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus (Nobel Prize).

Wu Jianxiong, discovery of parity violation (should have been Nobel Prize).

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, developed protein crystallography (Nobel Prize).

Caroline Herschel, discovery of several comets and in particular the periodic comet 35P/Herschel-Rigollet, which bears her name.

Henrietta Swan Leavitt, discovered the period-luminosity relationship for Cepheids.

Hedy Lamarr, invention of Spread Spectrum Technology

Athene Donald, showed that polymer crazing could not be understood without reference to the entanglement network.

Mildred Dresselhaus, Hicks-Dresselhaus Model & predicted the band structures of carbon nanotubes.

Lene Hau, stopped a fucking beam of light completely, by use of a Bose-Einstein condensate (!!)

Nina Byers, showed that observation of flux quantization in superconductors is experimental evidence for the BCS theory.

Feel free to add more people.