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: 133

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

Hal Skinner replied to Richard Beyer's discussion Spontaneous Combustion and Flash Fire regarding Spray Foam Insulation
"This thread has certainly turned into what sounds like  a thread from a fire safety website…"
3 hours ago
Barbara Smith replied to Mike Kandel's discussion Our Homes Suck – And That's Why Our Kids Have Sinus Problems
"RIVEC is a project of the Lawrence Berkeley Lab.  It's a residential ventilation fan…"
3 hours ago
tedkidd replied to Mike Kandel's discussion Our Homes Suck – And That's Why Our Kids Have Sinus Problems
"Richard, I don't "Know" that the earth is not flat, but I'm pretty confident it…"
4 hours ago
Shawn O'Neill replied to Mike Kandel's discussion Our Homes Suck – And That's Why Our Kids Have Sinus Problems
"    Great discussion and points brought up via this "fuse" lit.  More…"
4 hours ago
John Proctor commented on Christopher Morin's blog post How do You Test a TXV?
"Oh yes one more item. There has to be a combination of water and ice to achieve 32 degrees F. That…"
5 hours ago
John Proctor commented on Christopher Morin's blog post How do You Test a TXV?
"Thank you for the nice post. Remember that the important thing is the actual superheat that…"
5 hours ago
Robert (Bob) Bacon commented on Kurt Shafer's blog post What is your opinion about members promoting products here?
"Hi Kurt, Great question - I've been there. I am a business owner specializing in window…"
5 hours ago
daniel manriquez replied to Trip's discussion Starting a Home Weatherization Business. Considering it...
"I would talk to Daniel Tait at http://www.nexusenergycenter.org/ . They do a lot of work with…"
6 hours ago
Tom White's video was featured

Main St Nevada City, Historic Victorian energy upgrade story, Balance Point HP, Debra Little

Energy upgrade of historic 1866 Victorian by Gavin Healy & Dan Perunko of Balance Point Home Performance; Nevada City, CA. Extensive retrofit: attic, wall & ...
7 hours ago
Profile IconRamon Aguirre, John Kane, Bobby Hight and 3 more joined Home Energy Pros
9 hours ago
Jim Gunshinan commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post My Energy Upgrade California—The Numbers Are In
"Thanks Nate for more good stuff to chew on—and nutritional! We may be running out to Home…"
18 hours ago
Tom Conlon commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post My Energy Upgrade California—The Numbers Are In
"Jim,I just got around to re-reading your four-part series and I think this is a really interesting…"
18 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service