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Solar cells thinner than wavelengths of light hold huge power potential
Date:9/28/2010

ng layers once the light passed through the upper one into the thin film. Atop the upper cladding layer, he placed a patterned rough-surfaced layer designed to send the incoming light off in different directions as it entered the thin film.

By varying the parameters of the different layers, he was able to achieve a 12-fold increase in the absorption of light within the thin film, compared to the macroscale limit.

Nanoscale solar cells offer savings in material costs, as the organic polymer thin films and other materials used are less expensive than silicon and, being nanoscale, the quantities required for the cells are much smaller.

The organic materials also have the advantage of being manufactured in chemical reactions in solution, rather than needing high-temperature or vacuum processing, as is required for silicon manufacture.

"Most of the research these days is looking into many different kinds of materials for solar cells," Fan said. "Where this will have a larger impact is in some of the emerging technologies; for example, in organic cells."

"If you do it right, there is enormous potential associated with it," Fan said.


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Contact: Louis Bergeron
louisb3@stanford.edu
650-725-1944
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert  

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