December 1, 2008
Holey silicon promises better
Fill silicon with regularly-spaced microscopic
holes and you can increase the amount of sunlight the silicon absorbs,
potentially boosting silicon solar cell performance.
The silicon photonic crystal traps light, which increases
the amount of light the material absorbs. Traditional solar cells
are made of various types of solid silicon. Measurements of the photonic
crystal show that despite the holes it conducts electricity well enough
to use in solar cells.
Photonic crystal silicon solar cells would capture more sunlight
and therefore produce more electricity than traditional solar cells
of the same efficiency.
the Electrical Properties of Inverse Silicon Opals - A Step Towards
Optically Amplified Silicon Solar Cells
Advanced Materials, published online November 14, 2008
Chemistry Research Group, University of Toronto
and Devices Research Group, University of Toronto
Related stories and briefs:
promises more light -- related research
Back to ERN
December 1/8, 2008
Energy-related books and products