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 October 22, 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 October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Magic Leap isn't publicizing much more than a description of its product, but it’s been enough for Google and others to invest more than $500M. 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