New Material Allows for Ultra-Thin Solar Cells
Scientists at the Vienna University of Technology have managed to combine two semiconductor materials, consisting of only three atomic layers each. This new structure holds great promise for a new kinds of solar cell.
Extremely thin, semi-transparent, flexible solar cells could soon become reality. At the Vienna University of Technology, students have managed to create a semiconductor structure consisting of two ultra-thin layers, which appears to be excellently suited for photovoltaic energy conversion.
Part of the incoming light passes right through the material. The rest is absorbed and converted into electric energy. The material could be used for glass fronts, letting most of the light in, but still creating electricity. As it only consists of a few atomic layers, it is extremely light weight (300 square meters weigh only one gram), and very flexible. Now the team is working on stacking more than two layers – this will reduce transparency, but increase the electrical power.
Photo: Technische Universität Wien