Twelve-year-old wunderkind William Yuan from Beaverton, Oregon, has created a new type of 3-D solar cell that works for both visible and UV light. If his research proves correct, his design will absorb nine times more light than the most cutting-edge solar cells in production and over 500 times more light than commercially-available solar cells.
William Yuan started off his research by studying graduate-level 3-D solar cell work completed at Georgia Tech and Notre Dame; his mentors at Portland State University’s Center for Nanofabrication and Electron Microscopy, Applied Materials Inc., and the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley helped Yuan focus his work.
According to KATU News, previous 3-D cells used either visible or UV light, but not both in one cell. William Yuan’s 3-D cell combines both, with highly-efficient and powerful results. "[This solar cell] would make solar energy actually a viable energy source for the Pacific Northwest," says Yuan.
William Yuan’s research has yielded him a $25,000 scholarship and the Davidson Fellow award from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development. He’s now looking for a manufacturer to create his 3-D solar cell.
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