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Solar panels are increasingly based on silicon. Solar panels have a 25-30 year life expectancy and tend to degrade with time. They also generate less electricity.By 2050 the Earth will have 60 million tons of photovoltaic panel waste if we don’t recycle our silicon waste.
Stanislav EVLASSIN, a senior scientist at Skoltech Center for Design, Manufacturing, and Materials, (CDMM), led a group of researchers to demonstrate an easy, 100% efficient technique for converting silicon wafers in aqueous solution into nanoparticles. This discovery may lead to a more environmentally friendly method of recycling silicon without toxic chemicals.
The new conversion method is controlled and can control the size and shape of nanoparticles. These can then be used for medicine, optics or photonics.
You can convert old panels to nanoparticles by using hydrothermal reactions in an aqueous solution. This method has the benefit of being able to control the size of nanoparticles in the range 8-50 nm.
The environmental impact of nanomaterials and pollutants can be measured using the Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis

The team used silicon wafers of three types: N type (nitrogen doped), P type (phosphorus doped), and high resistivity (HR). Based on density functional theories, their theoretical estimation proved that SiH bonds form on the surface of HR plates without ammonia as a catalyser.
The reaction can also be accelerated by adding additives like boron, phosphorus or molecular defects to solar panels.
Alkoxides are used as precursors in the vast majority of bottom-up methods to synthesize nanoparticles. Contrary to this, our top-down method uses bulk silicon as a source. This creates many advantages, including simplicity, scalability and controllable particles sizes.
Bondareva said: “Temperature is the most important parameter that influences particle size distribution. We observed that increasing pH had a large impact on the particle formation rate. “This is why we use the ammonia which speeds up the reaction.”
We then decided to investigate how nanoparticles form in this process. In order to achieve this, we used an heterogeneous-nucleation model that had a small number of nucleation center distributed on top of the silicon.
The chemistry of silicon nanoparticles
Silicon nanoparticles, also known as SiNP, are biocompatible quantum dots without metals. They can be made in any size and surface. Silicon nanoparticles contain pure amorphous, nano-silica. The particle size range is less than 5 nm, which is a small particle. Nano-silicon Powder is a semiconductor material that has a large bandgap. In addition, it’s a material with a powerful light source.
Silicon nanoparticles, as we know, are absorptive, abrasive. Furthermore, they are mesoporous. These properties have important applications for nanotechnology, drug delivery, and medicine. The unique photoluminescence of silicon nanoparticles and their physical properties have made them a popular choice for many applications in recent decades.
What uses are there for silicon nanoparticles
1. Raw material for organic silicon polymer materials that react with organic material.
2. Polysilicon is made by purifying metal silicon.
3. Metal surface treatment.
4. The lithium-ion battery can be significantly increased in capacity by using nano-carbon or graphite as the negative electrode.
The chemical and physical properties of silicon nanoparticles
Emulsion white, nontoxic, nonirritating, no burning, with a PH of 12 and a density between 1.15 and 1.2. It can be applied to the base of bricks, cement, gypsum or lime, as well as paints, asbestos, perlite and insulation boards. With excellent waterproofing and anti seepage effects. It is designed to prevent building weathering. It can also be used for exterior wall cleaning. The product is of high quality and durability. It resists acid and alkali, has excellent weather resistance. Steel bars are not corroded. Mortar impermeability >=S14 and concrete permeability >=S18.
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