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Tiny 'Lego brick'-style studs make solar panels a quarter more efficient
Date:10/19/2013

st scientists have tried to achieve the light bending effect using silver and gold studs because those materials are known to strongly interact with light, however these precious metals actually reduce the efficiency as they absorb some of the light before it enters the solar panel.

"The key to understanding these new results is in the way the internal structures of these metals interact with light. Gold and silver both have a strong effect on passing light rays, which can penetrate into the tiny studs and be absorbed, whereas aluminum has a different interaction and merely bends and scatters light as it travels past them into the solar cells."

An additional advantage to this solution is that aluminum is cheaper and far more abundant than silver and gold.

The future success of this technology opens up the possibility of making flexible solar panels that could be applied to any flat or curved surface, which could be used to power everything from domestic appliances to portable electronics like laptops.


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Contact: Simon Levey
s.levey@imperial.ac.uk
44-020-759-46702
Imperial College London
Source:Eurekalert  

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Tiny 'Lego brick'-style studs make solar panels a quarter more efficient
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