Cornell Chronicle: Carbon nanotubes could make efficient solar cells
Researchers at Cornell University have created a photodiode that is able to convert light into electricity with little or no waste heat. The system consists of a carbon nanotube between two electrical contacts and near a positive and negative gate. Electrons move through the tube are excited by laser light and create new electrons that join the flow. The device is highly experimental so possible commercialization of the device is not expected for some time, if the technical problems of going from lab-to-plant can even be surmounted in a cost-effective manner.