Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists' new approach improves efficiency of solar cells

Date:
October 25, 2013
Source:
University of York
Summary:
Scientists have developed a new method to increase the efficiency of solar cells.

A quasi-random structure to maximise performance of a thin film silicon solar cell.
Credit: Dr Li Juntao

An international team of scientists, led by researchers from the Universities of York and St Andrews, has developed a new method to increase the efficiency of solar cells.

The new approach achieves highly efficient broad-band light trapping in thin films, with more light captured in the film in order to maximise absorption and electricity generation.

The research, which is reported in Nature Communications, also involved scientists from Sun Yat-sen University and the GuangDong Polytechnic Normal University, China, and IMEC (Interuniversity MicroElectronics Center), Leuven, Belgium.

The new method builds on research into a class of materials known as quasi-crystals, which offer advantages in terms of the spectrum of light they are able to capture. However, the problem with these structures is that their properties are difficult to tailor towards specific applications as they lack the design tools available with periodic structures such as regular gratings.

To solve this problem, the researchers created a new structure called a quasi-random structure, which combines the rich spatial frequencies associated with quasi-crystals with the high level of control afforded by periodic structures. Corresponding author Emiliano Martins, from the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, said: "The control of propagating light is a crucial aspect in photonics. Here, we demonstrate that by a careful design of their Fourier spectra, quasi-random nanostructures can achieve such control very efficiently. "

Emiliano Martins developed the idea of the quasi-random structure with Dr Thomas F Krauss, an Anniversary Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of York.

Dr Krauss said: "Applying our nanophotonics design ideas to such an important area as solar cells is essential for improving the competitiveness of renewable energy generation. "

Calculations for the research into quasi-random cells were conducted by collaborators in China.

Corresponding author Dr Juntao Li, from the State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technology, Sun Yat-sen University, China, said: "Other than solar cells, our design can also be used in many light trapping areas, like LED and DFB lasers. "

The research was supported by the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA), the National Key Basic Research Special Foundation, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Guangdong Natural Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Emiliano R. Martins, Juntao Li, YiKun Liu, Valιrie Depauw, Zhanxu Chen, Jianying Zhou, Thomas F. Krauss. Deterministic quasi-random nanostructures for photon control. Nature Communications, 2013; 4 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3665

Cite This Page:

University of York. "Scientists' new approach improves efficiency of solar cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131025091711.htm>.
University of York. (2013, October 25). Scientists' new approach improves efficiency of solar cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131025091711.htm
University of York. "Scientists' new approach improves efficiency of solar cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131025091711.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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