Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nanostructures improve the efficiency of solar cells

Date:
April 25, 2013
Source:
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)
Summary:
Researchers have been able to improve the efficiency of solar cells by coating the cell surface with extremely small nanoscale structures. The new technology has been shown to nearly eliminate the reflection losses of solar radiation.

Researchers have been able to improve the efficiency of solar cells by coating the cell surface with extremely small nanoscale structures. The new technology has been shown to nearly eliminate the reflection losses of solar radiation. Cost-effective solar photovoltaic materials are being developed within the Academy of Finland's research programme Photonics and Modern Imaging Techniques.

Related Articles


The nanostructured black silicon coating features very low reflectivity, meaning that a larger portion of the Sun's radiation can be exploited. At Aalto University, a research team led by Assistant Professor Hele Savin is conducting studies on crystalline silicon solar cells, which are the main type of solar cells that are currently on the market.

"The advantages of silicon include the long-term stability, sufficiency, low cost and non-toxicity of the element, as well as the advanced production technology. Another benefit of these solar cells is their relatively high efficiency and technological compatibility with the manufacturing technologies currently used by the semiconductor industry," Savin explains. The technology, however, still calls for development and improvement.

According to Savin, the researchers are motivated in their work by the fact that the manufacturing technology players are major corporations in the industry, which allows for immediate large-scale experimenting of new ideas and improvement methods in collaboration with the partner corporations.

Promising techniques in the test bench

The efficient operation of solar cells may be compromised by impurities in silicon. In solar cells, it is not possible to use as pure a form of silicon as in, for example, microelectronics, and thus they exhibit a higher degree of impurities. Moreover, the solar cell utilises the silicon disk in its entirety, whereas transistors, for example, are located on the surface of the silicon disk, and accordingly, impurities cannot be controlled in solar cells by means of the same methods as those used in microelectronics.

One goal of the research led by Savin is to find ways to produce equally efficient solar cells using the less expensive but impure silicon rather than the more expensive purified silica. "We've already succeeded rather well in this respect. Certain promising techniques are currently being tested in production by a leading European solar cell manufacturer."

Another new research topic involves the so-called light-induced degradation of silicon solar cells. Light degradation is a harmful effect that reduces the solar cell efficiency by several percentage units during the first 24 hours of use, after which the situation becomes stabilised. The aim is to gain an understanding about the phenomenon itself and its causes. Understanding the phenomenon will contribute to the development of methods to minimise the harmful degradation and, possibly, to eliminate it completely. Hele Savin has been granted major funding for this research by the European Research Council (ERC).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). "Nanostructures improve the efficiency of solar cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425091358.htm>.
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). (2013, April 25). Nanostructures improve the efficiency of solar cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425091358.htm
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). "Nanostructures improve the efficiency of solar cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425091358.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Forensic Holodeck Creates 3D Crime Scenes

Forensic Holodeck Creates 3D Crime Scenes

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 3, 2015) A holodeck is no longer the preserve of TV sci-fi classic Star Trek, thanks to researchers from the Institute of Forensic Medicine Zurich, who have created what they say is the first system in the world to visualise the 3D data of forensic scans. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Plane Passes New Test Ahead of World Tour

Solar Plane Passes New Test Ahead of World Tour

AFP (Mar. 2, 2015) A solar-powered plane made a third successful test flight in the United Arab Emirates on Monday ahead of a planned round-the-world tour to promote alternative energy. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electric Hydrofoiling Watercraft Delivers Eco-Friendly Thrills

Electric Hydrofoiling Watercraft Delivers Eco-Friendly Thrills

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) The Quadrofoil is a high-tech electric personal watercraft that its makers call a &apos;sports car for the water&apos;. When it hits 10 km/h, the Slovenian-engineered Quadrofoil is lifted above the water onto four wing-like hydrofoils where it &apos;flies&apos; above the surface with minimal water resistance. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Everything You Need To Know About Mobile Payments In 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Mobile Payments In 2015

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) This year, mobile payments might finally catch on. Here are the things you need to know to stay on top of the latest developments. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins