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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nanostructures could make high-efficiency solar cells easier to fabricate

Showing data from four different crescent-shaped nanostructures, this figure demonstrates the strong dependence of SP excitations on crescent shape. Most significantly, the study shows that nanostructures can have a continuous light absorption spectrum even when having blunt edges, greatly simplifying fabrication requirements. Image credit: Yu Luo, et al. ©2012 American Physical Society
( -- One of the most promising methods for increasing the efficiency of solar cells consists of coating the cells’ surfaces with a thin layer of metal nanoparticles. The nanoparticles scatter incoming light in different directions, which allows the solar cells to absorb more light than they otherwise would. The scattering occurs when the incoming light stimulates the nanoparticles’ surface plasmons (SPs), which are coherent electron oscillations in the metal atoms that can reach a resonance mode when the electrons’ frequency matches the photons’ frequency. Under these conditions, the resulting “surface plasmon resonance” induces light scattering and enhances the light absorption of the surface.
in PhysOrg
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