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: 135

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

Profile IconWes Anderson, Jean-Paul and Bryan joined Home Energy Pros
yesterday
Dennis Heidner commented on Dale Stephens's blog post LED Lighting 24-month update 18,240 hours & counting
"Dale, good write up. For the landscaping bulbs,  if they had been T3 12V wedge bulbs,  I…"
yesterday
Brett Little commented on Tom White's video
Thumbnail

The Future of Housing - And How Airtightness Can Help

"It's very true! So many people and contractors have tons of insulated attics but no air seal…"
yesterday
Chris Leach replied to Richard Beyer's discussion "The Dangers of Using Spray Foam Insulation"
"The problems will surface soon enough . Why don't we take a second look at this over rated…"
yesterday
Don Fitchett commented on Tom White's video
Thursday
tedkidd replied to Bob Blanchette's discussion How does Cycles Per Hour affect real world AFUE?
"Want to spot a simpleton? It's a guy who thinks EE and comfort are disconnected.  Want…"
Thursday
tedkidd commented on Tom White's blog post Clean Energy Works Oregon: Total Home Performance
"Nice post Tom! I really like how he puts that. Leveraging interests so they can optimize…"
Thursday
Kent Mitchell commented on Tom White's blog post Clean Energy Works Oregon: Total Home Performance
"As a contractor in the region - we frequently wonder how/why you can be a non-profit?  Oregon…"
Thursday

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service