Seventh-grader’s Solar Cell Research

Posted on September 21, 2008  Comments (0)

photo of William Yuan

Seventh-grader shines with solar cell research

Yuan worked on his project for the past two years with the encouragement of his science teacher Susan Duncan; support of his parents Gang Yuan and Zhiming Mei; and counsel of professional mentors Professor Chunfei Li of Portland State University’s Center for Nanofabrication and Electron Microscopy, Fred Li of Applied Materials Inc. and Professor Shaofan Li of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of California – Berkeley.

“He is our youngest fellow in science that we’ve ever had,” Moessner said. “He is really spectacular. “His project will really make a difference in advancing the technology of solar cells. You would never know he’s 12 looking at the quality of his work.”

Beaverton boy lauded for solar cell invention

there have been many questions about the research by William Yuan. Some have even questioned whether he copied the research of others and claimed it as his own. That is far from the case. Yuan fully documented all of his sources and never tried to imply that he invented the 3D solar cell. He did create a new type of 3D solar cell that works for visible and UV light

William Yuan was awarded a 2008 Davidson Fellow award

In his project, “High Efficient 3-Dimensional Nanotube Solar Cell for Visible and UV Light,” William invented a novel solar panel that enables light absorption from visible to ultraviolet light. He designed carbon nanotubes to overcome the barriers of electron movement, doubling the light-electricity conversion efficiency. William also developed a model for solar towers and a computer program to simulate and optimize the tower parameters. His optimized design provides 500 times more light absorption than commercially-available solar cells and nine times more than the cutting-edge, three-dimensional solar cell.

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