New Thin Solar Cells

A new material that is made from nanoparticles is able to absorb the light from any angle, which open the gate for the most thin solar cells.

Professor Harry Atwater specialized in applied physics and nanomaterials at Caltech, with the help of Koray Aydin who is an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences in the Northwestern University. The idea of the new product depend on using the optical resonance, which is absorbing the infrared rays which we can not see and use it as the usual seen sun lights.

A new nanostructured material that absorbs a broad spectrum of light from any angle could lead to the most efficient thin-film solar cells ever.

Researchers are applying the design to semiconductor materials to make solar cells that they hope will save money on materials costs while still offering high power-conversion efficiency. Initial tests with silicon suggest that this kind of patterning can lead to a fivefold enhancement in absorbency.

Resonant plasmonic and metamaterial structures allow for control of fundamental optical processes such as absorption, emission and refraction at the nanoscale. Considerable recent research has focused on energy absorption processes, and plasmonic nanostructures have been shown to enhance the performance of photovoltaic and thermophotovoltaic cells.

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