As we are nearing a future where transparent solar cells would work as windows in homes and numerous buildings, an international team of scientists proved a new type of transparent electrode that can work as a fundamental building block.
The breakthrough surpassed some former performance issues and set the groundwork for other tandem solar cells that merge the advantages of the different technologies in a complementary fashion.
Silicon-based solar cells have been a mainstay in the modern world of solar technology, but some recent perovskite-based cells began making some decent progress.
Scientists proved how ultrathin golf films could work as transparent electrodes for such cells but had some trouble creating a uniform layer, which, in turn, resulted in unfavourable conductivity.
The new study’s authors discovered that using chromium as a seed for the gold film layer to form would compensate for the problems.
Dong Yang, an assistant research professor of materials science and engineering at Penn State, said:
“Normally, if you grow a thin layer of something like gold, the nanoparticles will couple together and gather like small islands […] Chromium has a large surface energy that provides a good place for the gold to grow on top of, and it actually allows the gold to form a continuous thin film.”
Shashank Priya, the study’s author, expressed his amazement with the new technology, as he considers that a five percent improvement in efficiency “is giant.”
That means that you get an extra 50 watts of sunlight for every square meter of solar panel.
Solar farms usually consist of thousands of such panels, meaning that the new discovery would make them even more lucrative.