NASA and the university of Arkansas are funding new researches for solar sells. The goal of the research is to develop solar cells to power satellites with an efficiency of 40 percent instead of the current 23 percent.
In the new solar cell silicon will no longer be used. They have two approaches in mind to create the new cells.
According to the first approach the new cells will be made from nanocrystals grown from a mix of copper, indium, gallium and selenium together with titanium-dioxide or zinc-oxide nanotubes.
The second approach uses molecular beam epitaxy to create quantum dots of indium arsenide.
The plasmonic effect of trapping sunlight will be investigated as well to increase the efficiency of the energy conversion.
more about this subject you can read in this article from the Engineer.
NASA named a new astrophysics fellowship after Nancy Grace Roman. The fellowship is designed to foster technologies that advance scientific investigations in the origin and physics of the universe and future exoplanet exploration.
Nancy Grace Roman is an American astronomer with a much celebrated career. She earned her Ph.D. in astronomy at the age of 24. Ten years later she started to work at NASA where she became the first chief of astronomy in the Office of Space Science. She was the first woman to hold an executive position there. She was one of the main figures in creating the Hubble Space Telescope that was launched in 1990.
The following link guides you to an article from NASA with more information about the Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowship in Astrophysics and about Nancy Grace Roman herself.