Physics @ Berkeley
Physics in the News
Title: Solar Cells From Any Semiconductor Material
Date: 07/30/2012
Publication: Electronics News
Extended Text:

RESEARCHERS with the Berkeley Lab have developed technology which could enable low-cost, high efficiency solar cells to be made from virtually any semiconductor material.

The work by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley opens the door to the use of plentiful, relatively inexpensive semiconductors, such as metal oxides, sulfides and phosphides, for solar applications.

These materials have been previously considered unsuitable for solar cells because it is difficult to tailor their properties chemically. This meant solar cells had to be made from relatively expensive semiconductors.

According to the researchers, they found the abundant materials can instead be tailored for solar power applications by applying an electric field, thus the name, screening-engineered field-effect photovoltaics" (SFPV).

Read more here.