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Scientists develop silicon cells capable of absorbing infrared radiation from the sun

Date:
March 25, 2014
Source:
Asociación RUVID
Summary:
Researchers have developed a silicon photovoltaic cell capable of turning infrared radiation into electricity. The sun is an inexhaustible source of energy which well-exploited, could solve many of the energy suply problems we have today. The photovoltaic cell, commonly known as solar cell, is a device capable of turning solar light into electricity. However, there are many obstacles that prevent a massive use, such as a relatively high cost (0.02 euros per watt generated) and the low efficiency of silicon based solar cells, around 17 per cent.
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The new silicon cell capable of absorbing the infrared radiation.
Credit: Image courtesy of Asociación RUVID

Researchers of the Universitat Politècnica de València, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC, in Spanish), the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech (UPC) and the Universidad Rovira i Virgili de Tarragona have developed a silicon photovoltaic cell capable of turning infrared radiation into electricity.

Nature Communications magazine has published this new development led by Francisco Meseguer professor from the CSIC, at the joint lab UPV/CSIC.

The sun is an inexhaustible source of energy which well-exploited, could solve many of the energy suply problems we have today. The photovoltaic cell, commonly known as solar cell, is a device capable of turning solar light into electricity. However, there are many obstacles that prevent a massive use, such as a relatively high cost (0.02 euros per watt generated) and the low efficiency of silicon based solar cells, around 17 per cent.

The low efficiency is related to the material the solar cell is made of. Most solar cells are made of silicon which is relatively cheap to produce. However these solar cells can generate electricity from the visible part of the sun spectrum, but the infrared region is, unfortunately, useless.

The professor Francisco Meseguer, explains that, "after three years of work, our research team has developed a new concept of silicon solar cells able to absorb infrared radiation from the sun and turning them into electricity." Moisés Garín, a researcher from the CSIC and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, adds that, "what we have done is create photovoltaic cells on silicon micrometre scale sphere, where infrared light is trapped until it is absorbed turning it into electricity."

This work is a new scientific achievement for the development of high-performance photovoltaic cells in the future.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Garín, R. Fenollosa, R. Alcubilla, L. Shi, L. F. Marsal, F. Meseguer. All-silicon spherical-Mie-resonator photodiode with spectral response in the infrared region. Nature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4440

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Asociación RUVID. "Scientists develop silicon cells capable of absorbing infrared radiation from the sun." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325094808.htm>.
Asociación RUVID. (2014, March 25). Scientists develop silicon cells capable of absorbing infrared radiation from the sun. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325094808.htm
Asociación RUVID. "Scientists develop silicon cells capable of absorbing infrared radiation from the sun." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325094808.htm (accessed April 25, 2015).

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