A team of researchers have discovered a new compound to be used in organic solar cells using a new computer model which screens molecules.
The project, led by the Harvard University and IBM, used computational models to screen a family of organic compounds in order to identify the best molecules which could act as semiconductors in solar cells, Nature News reports.
The compound discovered by the team was then passed on to the researchers in the University of Stanford in California, who conducted tests and confirmed the properties of the molecule.
The team, led by Alán Aspuru-Guzik is working with the Big Blue to screen more than 3.5 million molecules to look for organic compounds that will be used for building a new generation of solar cells which will be flexible and lightweight.
“It’s how the pharmaceutical people do it: the theorists give a ranking to the experimentalists,” Aspuru-Guzik told Nature News. “We’re trying to save experimental time.”
“It’s beautiful work,” says Thuc-Quyen Nguyen, a chemist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “That’s the novelty of the approach.” she added.
IBM informs that the researchers are expected to publish the 100 most promising molecules for making new solar cells.