The discovery of new materials for making cheap and efficient solar cells is the Holy Grail for solar panels industry. 

 Some recent findings represent a significant step towards achieving that goal.

new photovoltaic materials work just fine without any sunlight

 New photovoltaic materials work just fine without any sunlight

 Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Energy, and the University of California, Berkeley, recently announced that they have developed a new technology that can produce low-cost high-efficiency solar cells of almost any semiconductor material, including those who are present in larger quantities, such as metal oxides, sulfide and phosphide. These materials till now have been considered unstable for making solar cells because it is difficult to adjust their properties by chemical route.


  Current photovoltaic technology relies on rare and expensive semiconductor such as silicon crystals, thin layers of copper cadmium telluride or idnium Galen arsenide, which are either expensive or difficult to convert into a final product.

 -”It is time to start using and bad materials. Our technology allows us to bypass the problems that occur during chemical-tune the properties of materials that are non-toxic and has a massive scale in the country, by simply applying the electric field” – says Alex Zetl who along with colleague Feng Wang leads this research.
  The new technology is called screening-engineered field-effect photovoltaics (SFPV) because it uses the electric field, a phenomenon which is very well known and studied, while the concentration of the carriers of electricity in semiconductors changes in an electric field.

 With this SFVP technology, carefully designed input electrode allows the electric field in the gate electrode to significantly penetrate and evenly distributes the concentration of carriers and their type to create a p-n junction. This allows the creation of high-quality p-n junctions in semiconductors that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to connect with classical chemical methods.

PhotovoltaicMaterials

Photovoltaic Materials

In SFPV system, the structure of the front electrode is also designed to at least one of its dimensions is constant.

 For example, in a configuration with copper oxide, researchers at Berkeley have shaped electrode contact in the form of tiny fingers, while in another case, working with silicon, made ultra-thin contact (only one layer of grafen). With enough thin “fingers” the field in the gate creates an inversion layer with low electrical resistance between the “fingers” and a potential barrier under them. Uniformly thin contact allows the field at the gate to enter there easily tunes the carrier concentration, so get high-quality p-n junctions.

Views: 137

Tags: energies, energy, green, panels, power, renewable, solar

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

R Higgins replied to William Fisher's discussion Can tankless water heaters provide hot water even when the groundwater is fairly cold?
"I have that problem, 45 to 50 degree ground water, in summer, not that we have much of a…"
3 hours ago
R Higgins replied to Larry Schaffert's discussion How to correctly insulate exterior wall in a 1900 house?
"I'd suggest trying to replicate the existing conditions as much as possible in your rebuild,…"
3 hours ago
Bryan Pringle replied to Bryan Pringle's discussion Dense packed cellulose in basement?
"I am getting a lot of "bad idea" push back on this.  I fully understand that…"
15 hours ago
Greg Mitchell commented on Larry Ralph Jr's blog post Top 7 Worst Crawl Space Repairs
"Spray Foam should be used in crawlspaces.   To learn about closed cell foam in crawlspaces…"
16 hours ago
Jerry Lawrence posted events
yesterday
Morgan M Audetat replied to Bryan Pringle's discussion Dense packed cellulose in basement?
"Right you are. You have to ask: what will the cellulose contribute.  Here in Minneapolis we…"
yesterday
Morgan M Audetat replied to Tony Hicks's discussion Slab-on-grade Insulation
"All slabs float. We have been installing radiant floors on various slab constructions since the…"
yesterday
Tony Hicks replied to Tony Hicks's discussion Slab-on-grade Insulation
"2" XPS foam. I'd love an R-20. Having foam thick enough to get an R-20 would be…"
yesterday

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service