Navigation Links
NTU and A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics develop cheaper yet efficient thin film solar cells
Date:10/12/2011

Researchers in Singapore have exploited advanced nanostructure technology to make a highly efficient and yet cheaper silicon solar cell. With this development, the researchers hope that the cost of solar energy can be halved.

Developed jointly by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME), the new thin-film silicon solar cells are designed to be made from cheaper, low grade silicon. However it is able to generate electricity currents close to that produced by traditional solar cells made from costly, high quality silicon.

The new NTU-A*STAR nano-structured solar cells can produce a current of (34.3mA/cm2) a world record for a silicon solar cell of its kind.

This is made possible by creating a unique texture using nanostructures which is thousands of times smaller than human hair on the surface of the solar cell.

The resulting electricity current output is close to those of traditional cells (40mA/cm2). Conventional thin film solar cells usually produce about half of the current that traditional cells produce.

Adoption of solar energy around the world is hindered by the high cost of traditional solar panels, partially due to it being made from high grade crystalline bulk silicon.

Using low-grade amorphous (shapeless) silicon thin film that has no texture which is over 100 times thinner addresses the material cost issue, but it is not as effective in converting sunlight to electricity, thus producing less energy.

The newly developed nanostructure method, which creates a unique texture on the surface of amorphous silicon, improves the Power Conversion Efficiency (PCE) of the thin film silicon cell and so increases the energy output.

The lead of the project from IME, Dr Navab Singh, Senior Scientist of IME's NanoElectronics Programme, said: "To mitigate against reduced light absorption and carrier recombination in the amorphous silicon thin film cells, we designed and fabricated the novel nanostructures on silicon surface. The sole application of IME's surface texturing strategy achieved a record high of short circuit current density with 5.26% PCE."

"The cell level power conversion efficiencies of bulk crystalline Si solar cells are 20 25%. Given that short circuit current density is directly proportional to PCE, it is conceivable that subsequent efforts to improve fill factor and open circuit voltage would boost the final PCE of the silicon thin film solar cells greatly to match that of bulk Si solar cells. Our future research efforts will explore additional light trapping strategies such as plasmonics," continued Dr Singh.

Professor Cheng Tee Hiang, Chair of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, said improving the efficiency of low-cost solar cells is critical in encouraging adoption of solar energy around the world.

"Today's world is faced with several challenges, which include the depletion of fossil fuels, increased cost of such fuels and a growing carbon footprint. At NTU, we are committed to develop the next generation of solar cells which are cheap, efficient and easy to manufacture, so as to enable solar energy to play a bigger role as a renewable resource."

Sustainability is one of NTU's Five Peaks of Excellence which the university aims to make its mark globally under NTU 2015 five year strategic plan. The other four peaks include future healthcare, new media, the best of the East and West, and innovation.

Professor Dim-Lee Kwong, Executive Director of IME, said, "The demand for thin film solar cells are expected to double by 2013. IME's research efforts in this area are congruent with the world-wide movement towards renewable pro-environment and cost-viable energy solutions."


'/>"/>
Contact: Lester Kok
lesterkok@ntu.edu.sg
659-741-5593
Nanyang Technological University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. A*STAR scientists invent the worlds only controllable molecule gear of minuscule size of 1.2nm
2. A*Star scientists discover how to combat hospital-acquired infections and life-threatening toxins
3. Repair Stem Cell Institute Announces Industrys First Standards of Excellence for Global Stem Cell Treatment Centers to Protect Patients from Less-than-Competent Therapeutics
4. BN ImmunoTherapeutics Announces Partnership With National Cancer Institute
5. Rosetta Genomics and the National Institute of Health (NIH) to Identify Potential MicroRNA Drug Targets for HIV
6. Cyntellect to Collaborate With the Burnham Institute for Medical Research
7. Memory Pharmaceuticals Closes Final Tranche of Equity Financing with The Stanley Medical Research Institute
8. The National Cancer Institute Joins the Global Community of Scientists Now Using BIOMARKERcenter From Thomson Reuters
9. Stem Cell Profits Five Years Away, Says Repair Stem Cell Institute Chairman to The Wall Street Transcript
10. Pressure BioSciences, Inc. Announces Research Agreement With the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)
11. Epeius Biotechnologies Lead Product, Rexin-G for Metastatic Cancer, Aptly Highlighted by National Cancer Institute Journal
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/20/2017)... -- Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ) ... prevention of migraine at the American Academy of Neurology ... 2017, in Boston . ... safety and patient outcomes data for galcanezumab in patients ... monthly migraine headache days among patients with episodic migraine. ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... scientific and clinical research community’s growing body of knowledge during its Eighth ... Gracie Theatre and the adjacent Darling Atrium. During the event, undergraduates, graduate students, ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Prometic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: PLI) (OTCQX: ... the International Liver Congress ("ILC") 2017 of the European Association ... Amsterdam on the positive effects of PBI-4050 on ... obesity and metabolic syndrome. ... According to Dr. Lyne Gagnon, Vice-President of R&D Pre-clinical of ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... Parallel6™ , the leader in mClinical™ technologies for ... were named one of the 2017 Top 10 eClinical Trial Management Solution Providers ... industry. , “We take pride in honoring Parallel6 as one of the top 10 ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/20/2017)... March 20, 2017 At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor ... biometrics manufacturer DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand together with ... this year,s CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics company the ... fingerprint, face and iris recognition as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   ... ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... 2017 CeBIT 2017 - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG solutions "Made ... ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric ... ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... Australia , March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... at the prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop at the ... Fouras , was invited to deliver the latest data ... This globally recognised event brings together leaders at the ... latest developments in lung imaging. "The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):