A novel discovery in light rebounding technique by an old solar cell design through layers of microscopic spheres will increase the electricity-generating potential by 26%. This project was been led by a team of engineers from the University of Minnesota. The team has got a huge success in improving the efficiency of a kind of solar cell by engineering alternating layers of nanometer and micrometre particles.
These latest solar cells are composed of titanium dioxide (TiO2), a photosensitive material that is more cost-effective than traditional silicon cells, termed as dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC). Such cells will progressively help reduce future requirements as well as improvise the theoretical limit of efficiency. However, up-to-date DSSC designs have only a 10% potential.
According to the newsletter, a big reason for low efficiency is the uneven absorption of the light from the infrared portion of the spectrum of the solar cell. This innovative design as in layers can enhance the path of the light striking on the solar cells and helps change more of the electromagnetic spectrum into electricity. Such a kind of cell comprises micrometre-scale spheres with nanometers slotted in-between layers of nanoscale particles.
The TiO2 spheres resemble firmly crammed bumpers on a pinball machine. These spheres cause photons to bounce around before they can evenly distribute through the cells. When photon intermingles with one of the spheres, then a small charge is released.
The interfaces between the layers of a new solar cell can increase efficiency by performing like mirrors as well as maintaining the light inside the solar cells where it can be transferred into the electricity. This type of technique to enhance light-harvesting efficiency can be incorporated into current commercial DSSCs.