Introduction to “Solid oxide fuel cells” for ACT @ 20

By Jonathon Foreman / September 15, 2023

To celebrate the milestone of the 20th volume of the International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology, the editorial team assembled a selection of journal papers representing the excellent work from the advanced ceramics community. The focus this month is solid oxide fuel cells.

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Protecting solar panels from hail—the thicker the glass, the better

By Lisa McDonald / September 12, 2023

The increasing frequency and severity of hailstorms puts solar panels at risk of damage. Researchers in India and Hong Kong explored the role that front glass thickness plays in improving the hail resistance of solar panels.

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The ‘very important role’ of ceramics in energy on full display at MCARE/EHS 2023

By Lisa McDonald / August 30, 2023

The combined Materials Challenges in Alternative & Renewable Energy and Energy Harvesting Society meeting took place Aug. 21–24, 2023, in Bellevue, Wash. Almost 170 attendees from 16 countries attended the conference to participate in cross-border discussions on overcoming the many materials and process-related challenges in the transition to a sustainable energy future.

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Optimized tape casting process creates lithium metazirconate thin films for use as solid-state electrolytes

By Lisa McDonald / August 29, 2023

Lithium metazirconate (LZO) has demonstrated promise as an electrode coating in solid-state batteries, and some researchers are exploring the use of LZO as a solid-state electrolyte itself. However, to date, all electrochemical testing on LZO for this application has been performed on pressed discs rather than thin films. Researchers in Argentina and Spain developed an aqueous forming route to obtain LZO films by tape casting.

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Black silicon wafers significantly improve efficiency of ultrathin solar cells

By Lisa McDonald / August 22, 2023

Reducing the thickness of silicon wafers in solar cells below 40 μm typically results in decreased performance. Using black silicon for the wafer, however, which has a textured surface structure, can improve the wafer’s absorption capabilities. Researchers in Spain and Finland demonstrated this improvement by using ultrathin black silicon wafers to create interdigitated back-contact solar cells.

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Ultrafast deposition reveals true shape of lithium

By Lisa McDonald / August 15, 2023

The complex feedback loop between solid electrolyte interphase formation and lithium deposition means researchers have struggled to develop a general framework for understanding and predicting lithium morphology. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, modified the electrodeposition process to decouple lithium deposition from interface growth and thus reveal the intrinsic deposition morphology of lithium.

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Perovskite solar cells charge ahead to record-breaking efficiencies

By Lisa McDonald / July 21, 2023

The potential of perovskites as a photovoltaic material, both in combination with silicon and alone, is gaining steam. This CTT overviews some of the biggest advancements in this field in recent months.

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Video: Proposed ban threatens budding agrivoltaic industry in the Netherlands

By Lisa McDonald / July 12, 2023

Despite the recorded benefits of co-locating solar panels and crops, the erroneous belief that photovoltaics and agriculture are an either/or situation remains a common perspective in governing bodies around the world. In the past month, two media announcements out of the Netherlands reveal how a proposed ban on solar deployments on agricultural land could severely hamper the country’s budding agrivoltaic industry.

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Video: Cadmium telluride solar technology gains momentum

By Lisa McDonald / July 5, 2023

Cadmium telluride solar cells are the second most common photovoltaic technology globally after crystalline silicon. Today’s CTT looks at recent funding initiatives and commercial expansions to accelerate the impact of this maturing technology.

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Honoring John B. Goodenough, a charged life that lit up the world

By Lisa McDonald / June 28, 2023

On June 25, 2023, University of Texas at Austin professor John B. Goodenough died at the age of 100. Goodenough was known for developing the metal oxide cathodes that are still used in lithium-ion batteries today, but his innovations greatly influenced many other research areas as well. His contributions to science will continue to light up the imagination of researchers in the future.

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