Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Nanostructures improve solar cell efficiency

Abstract:
To make solar cells a competitive alternative to other renewable energy sources, researchers are investigating different alternatives. A step in the right direction is through new processes that change the surfaces of silicon solar cells. By creating different nanostructures on the surfaces, the energy harvesting properties of solar cells can be improved.

Nanostructures improve solar cell efficiency

Italy | Posted on May 28th, 2011

Within the EU-funded research project N2P (Nano To Production) researchers work on nanostructured surfaces of solar cells. At the Fraunhofer Institute in Dresden, Germany, researchers have focused on the development of atmospheric pressure plasma chemical etching (AP-PCE) processes. This technology is as an alternative to the wet chemical processing approach, used in the solar industry. The advantages of AP-PCE over the etching technology based on wet chemical processing are, for example, reduced chemical waste, cost efficiency and reduced handling. AP-PCE is used for modifying crystalline silicon solar wafers‚ surfaces down to the nanoscale. The researchers have achieved a one-percent improvement in solar cell efficiency, from 16 to 17 percent, by making the rear surface very smooth.

Within the N2P research project scientists at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Neuchatel, Switzerland, are instead working on improving different solar cells, the thin film silicon solar cells. Currently, these solar cells can only harvest about seven percent of the sunlight, which is about 40 percent less efficient compared to conventional wafer silicon cells. However, the thin film solar cells are cheaper and more eco-friendly because their production demands less time, material and energy. The researchers in Switzerland are changing the top glass structure of the solar cell, by depositing a layer of nanosized crystals from a transparent conductive oxide (TCO) onto the glass. This layer gives a high scattering effect and the light beam generates more electrons when it travels a longer distance though the cell, which enhances the cell‚s light absorption. The researchers have managed to achieve a 30 percent increase in efficiency in comparison with stand
ard thin film solar cells.

Another process that could increase the efficiency of thin film silicon solar cells, through changing the surface structures, includes ultrafast pulsed laser irradiation. Researchers at Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology have shown that this irradiation makes a nanospike pattern on the silicon surface which reduces reflection of the light from the surface. More light will therefore be absorbed.

New processes which create nanostructured surfaces are improving solar cell efficiency substantially. With lower manufacturing costs in the future the interest in solar cell investments may increase impressively.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Elisabeth Schmid
Phone: +39 02 7002572
Fax: +39 02 7002540
E-mail:

Copyright © youris.com

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Sopping up proteins with thermosponges: Researchers develop novel nanoparticle platform that proves effective in delivering protein-based drugs October 22nd, 2014

Brookhaven Lab Launches Computational Science Initiative:Leveraging computational science expertise and investments across the Laboratory to tackle "big data" challenges October 22nd, 2014

Bipolar Disorder Discovery at the Nano Level: Tiny structures found in brain synapses help scientists better understand disorder October 22nd, 2014

NIST offers electronics industry 2 ways to snoop on self-organizing molecules October 22nd, 2014

Discoveries

Sopping up proteins with thermosponges: Researchers develop novel nanoparticle platform that proves effective in delivering protein-based drugs October 22nd, 2014

NIST offers electronics industry 2 ways to snoop on self-organizing molecules October 22nd, 2014

Mechanism behind nature's sparkles revealed October 22nd, 2014

Researchers patent a nanofluid that improves heat conductivity October 22nd, 2014

Announcements

NanoTechnology for Defense (NT4D) October 22nd, 2014

Mechanism behind nature's sparkles revealed October 22nd, 2014

TARA Biosystems and Harris & Harris Group Form Company to Improve Safety and Efficacy of New Therapies October 22nd, 2014

Researchers patent a nanofluid that improves heat conductivity October 22nd, 2014

Energy

Researchers patent a nanofluid that improves heat conductivity October 22nd, 2014

Could I squeeze by you? Ames Laboratory scientists model molecular movement within narrow channels of mesoporous nanoparticles October 21st, 2014

First Canada Excellence Research Chair gets $10 million from the federal government for oilsands research at the University of Calgary: Federal government announces prestigious research chair to study improving oil production efficiency October 19th, 2014

Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways October 16th, 2014

Solar/Photovoltaic

Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways October 16th, 2014

Dyesol Signs Letter of Intent with Tata Steel October 13th, 2014

DNA nano-foundries cast custom-shaped metal nanoparticles: DNA's programmable assembly is leveraged to form precise 3D nanomaterials for disease detection, environmental testing, electronics and beyond October 10th, 2014

Over 100 European experts meet in Barcelona thanks to a COST Action coordinated from ICN2: The ISOS-7 Summit discusses the future of organic photovoltaic devices October 7th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE





  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE