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

Walter Ahlgrim replied to James White's discussion What happened to Home Energy Pro's website?
"Try downloading Google Chrome web browser https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/ I had similar…"
6 hours ago
Stacy Hunt posted an event

Building America Webinar: Multifamily Ventilation Strategies and Compartmentalization Requirements at Virtual

September 24, 2014 from 3pm to 4:30pm
The Building America Program is hosting a no-cost, webinar-based training on Multifamily…See More
7 hours ago
Ben Jacobs replied to Bud Poll's discussion Another benefit from air sealing
"This is info I give to clients that I serve. People who live in homes that are not energy efficient…"
9 hours ago
Brennan Less replied to Bud Poll's discussion Another benefit from air sealing
"Thanks Bud. I just feel the need to point out any such issues, because we as a field need to be…"
12 hours ago
Bud Poll replied to Bud Poll's discussion Another benefit from air sealing
"Hi Brennan, "weak and irrational" is not at all what I was trying to communicate. …"
13 hours ago
Christopher Talarico replied to Christopher Talarico's discussion Heating with Tankless Water Heater & Hydronic Air Handler vs. Gas Furnace
"Barbara, thanks for the info - this is some of the research I was interested in seeing. That report…"
13 hours ago
Brennan Less replied to Bud Poll's discussion Another benefit from air sealing
"I would love to see such matters discussed on this forum without broadly characterizing women as…"
13 hours ago
Eric Kjelshus commented on Christopher Morin's blog post Top 5 Changes to ACCA Manual S
"I run loads each day.  BUT my completion does not,    I see so much over sizing…"
13 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service