Italian researchers have found the solution for the future: it costs ten times less than the precious metal and the process can be easily industrialized.
The Nanoscale science magazine published a research conducted by the Italian Institute of Technology, in cooperation with the University of Rome Tor Vergata: the goal is to make “productive” the large glass surfaces that are becoming more and more the aesthetic identity of our cities. If using the roofs of buildings is becoming increasingly difficult, so far windows were never used.
The solution dictated by platinum was not economically feasible; the material was too expensive even compared to electricity generation perspectives. The Italian researchers have successfully tested the replacement of platinum with graphene used with an innovative technique. Inside the photovoltaic structure, graphene is sprayed in liquid form according to a technique that is easily reproducible on a large scale.
Graphene is a material consisting of a monoatomic layer of carbon atoms, which has, that is, an equivalent thickness to the size of a single atom. For some time now, it is the focus of interest of scientists around the world and the European Union has allocated €1 billion, for the next 10 years, for a research program called Graphene Flagship.