1st place
Ward Melville High School - East Setauket, New York
2018 Toshiba ExploraVision 10-12 winner, Ward Melville HS, East Setauket, NY
James Dornicik (Coach), Carl Ferdenzi (Toshiba), Kian Abbott, Jeffrey Casey, Abhinav Yadav, Darren Tung, Mike Ferrara (Toshiba), Alan Baum (Principal); Photo credit: Marnie Kula
Ward Melville High School -- East Setauket, New York

Polychiral Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube Solar Cells

As research on physical and electronic properties of graphene and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) continues, their possible applications expand. CNTs can possess different chiralities, one family of which forms semiconductors that exhibit the photovoltaic properties of silicon and gallium arsenide. These properties demonstrate the viability of CNTs as candidate for solar cells; however, unlike other semiconductors, the differing chiralities of semiconductor CNTs also have different absorption spectra, allowing each chirality to absorb a specific wavelength of light. Combining this property with the concentric layering of single walled carbon nanotubes(SWCNTs) to form multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) permits the creation of polychiral MWCNTs, in which each layer has a different chirality. Each nanotube in a solar cell created from these polychiral MWCNTs would have the combined absorption spectrum of its constituent SWCNTs. MWCNTs whose combined absorption spectra most closely resembles solar emissions will form solar cells whose efficiency surpasses silicon based cells.

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