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smriti
smriti • Jan 19, 2013

A New Class Of Nanowires Bolster Solar Cell Performance

Solar cells' unique selling points are all but efficiency. Naturally, scientists have been incessantly working towards generating more power out of the renewable resource. The latest success comes in the form of conventional indium phosphide (InP) nanowires, with an unconventional feature such that the diameters of the wires are smaller in measurement to the wavelength of visible light.

 

[caption id="attachment_45484" align="aligncenter" width="600"][​IMG] nanowire[/caption]

 

The principle in application is resonant trapping which is able to extract over half as much current as a full planar cell of Indium Phospide. The significantly smaller diameter of the wire results in resonance when light touches its surface, hence helping in absorbing more energy. Nanowires based cells are inexpensive and reduce the need of PV material for an entire surface. The new design has improved the efficiency of previous nanowire cells from 5 percent to 13.8 percent at peak performance, though still not competitive when compared to traditional PVs.

Source: ArsTechnica

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