Scientists develop silicon cells capable of absorbing infrared radiation from the sun

Mar 26, 2014
Scientists develop silicon cells capable of absorbing infrared radiation from the sun
The new silicon cell capable of absorbing the infrared radiation.

Researchers of the Universitat Politècnica de València, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC, in Spanish), the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech (UPC) and the Universidad Rovira i Virgili de Tarragona have developed a silicon photovoltaic cell capable of turning infrared radiation into electricity.

Nature Communications magazine has published this new development led by Francisco Meseguer professor from the CSIC, at the joint lab UPV/CSIC.

The sun is an inexhaustible source of energy which well-exploited, could solve many of the energy supply problems we have today. The is a device capable of turning solar light into . However, there are many obstacles that prevent widespread use, such as a relatively high cost (0.02 euros per watt generated) and the low efficiency of silicon-based , around 17 per cent.

The low efficiency is related to the material the solar cell is made of. Most solar cells are made of silicon which is relatively cheap to produce. However these solar cells can generate electricity only from the visible part of the sun spectrum, not the infrared region.

Professor Francisco Meseguer says, "After three years of work, our research team has developed a new concept of able to absorb from the sun and convert it into electricity." Moisés Garín, a researcher from the CSIC and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, says, "What we have done is create photovoltaic cells on a micrometre-scale silicon sphere, where infrared light is trapped until it is absorbed, turning it into electricity".

Scientists develop silicon cells capable of absorbing infrared radiation from the sun
The new silicon cell capable of absorbing the infrared radiation.

This work is a new scientific achievement for the development of high-performance photovoltaic cells in the future.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.


Explore further: Team creates a low cost thin film photovoltaic device with high energy efficiency

More information: M. Garín, R. Fenollosa, R. Alcubilla, L. Shi, L.F. Marsal y F. Meseguer. "All-silicon spherical-Mie-resonator photodiode with spectral response in the infrared region." Nature Communications 5, Article number: 3440 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4440 . Received 10 July 2013 Accepted 12 February 2014 Published 10 March 2014

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Maximising solar cells

Jan 22, 2014

(Phys.org) —With silicon solar cells set to become a thing of the past, a Flinders University researcher has developed a novel computer system to find the best emerging carbon nanotubes to fuel the future.

Solar cells made from black silicon

Oct 01, 2012

Solar cells convert three-quarters of the energy contained in the Sun's spectrum into electricity – yet the infrared spectrum is entirely lost in standard solar cells. In contrast, black silicon solar cells ...

UCLA's new transparent solar film could be game-changer

Aug 21, 2012

One of the holy grails of solar cell technology may have been found, with researchers at UCLA announcing they have created a new organic polymer that produces electricity, is nearly transparent and is more durable and malleable ...

Recommended for you

Preparing for a zero-emission urban bus system

16 minutes ago

In order to create a competitive and sustainable transport system, the EU must look to alternative fuels to replace or complement petrol and diesel. Not only will this reduce transport emissions but it will ...

Exploring the value of 'Energy Star' homes

41 minutes ago

The numbers in neat columns tell—column by column, page by page—a story spread out across Carmen Carrión-Flores' desk at Binghamton University. It's a great story, she says; she just doesn't know how ...

Toward a networked energy future

23 hours ago

February 1, 2050, is a good day for German electricity consumers. The breeze off the north coast is blowing so strongly that offshore wind farms and the wind turbines on land are running non-stop. Since it's ...

Meeting power needs with wireless recharging

Oct 29, 2014

If you buy a 2016 Toyota Prius, you won't need to worry about keeping your hybrid car charged—just get the option for wireless power transfer that lets you drive into your garage and have your battery automatically ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.