In modern times, more and more companies are trying to convert to the use of "renewable energy". Solar cells are an excellent ally, a simple way to recover a substantial part of the energy.
The latest research has brought to light the presence of semiconductor nanowires, designed for building amazing new solar cells.
It is essential that companies commit themselves to find new innovative solutions, so as to help the environment and save money at the same time.
Let's see in detail what has been discovered by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and what are the objectives it aims to achieve.
The famous gallium arsenide (GaAs) is accompanied with something new, resulting in better and much cheaper results.
The new nanowire semiconductors
La search of the NTNU University, led to the discovery of a new technique for making solar cells, which would seem to increase the productivity and general efficiency of current silicon cells.
Doctoral student Anjan Mukherjee, briefly explained what the novelty consists of, stating that:
"We have a new method to use gallium arsenide (GaAs) material very effectively through nanostructuring, so that we can make solar cells much more efficient by using only a small fraction of the material normally used. "
Gallium arsenide (GaAs) is often regarded as the "best material"For the construction of solar cells. Essentially, engineers choose it because it is capable of absorbing large amounts of light and because it has good electrical characteristics. Indeed, it is used in space solar panels.
However, GaAs solar cells are very expensive to produce, and they need something that lowers the cost. The nanowire semiconductor structures serve precisely to improve the efficiency of solar cells by using less material.
The advantages of the MBE method
The University team managed to produce a solar cell 10 times more efficient than any other solar cell. After their intervention, the efficiency of the cells increased by 40%, creating a real revolution.
Researchers were able to achieve this by using nanowire semiconductors, grown directly at the university.
To produce them, they use a method called MBE (molecular beam epitaxy). We are talking about a very innovative method, which unfortunately still fails to produce large quantities of materials.
However, by using an industrial-scale tool like MOCVD (metal-organic vapor deposition), it is possible to increase production and arrive at satisfactory quantities, at least for the moment.
The research was born thanks to the publication on ACS Photonics, a journal of the American Chemical Society.