Bandgap engineering for high-efficiency solar cell design

June 22, 2012

ZnSnP2, an absorber material for solar cells, transitions from an ordered to a disordered structure at high temperatures. Researchers from University College London and the University of Bath have proposed taking advantage of this structural change to design high-efficiency solar absorbers.

The team used theoretical calculations to investigate the electronic structure of both phases, and predicted a significant difference in the bandgap between the ordered and fully disordered materials.

Experimental measurements of the bandgap of ZnSnP2 are consistent with predictions from partially disordered phases.

In a paper accepted for publication in the American Institute of Physics' journal , the researchers propose that a family of ZnSnP2 materials with different structural phases could provide a graded solar cell system that absorbs light across a wide swath of the spectrum.

Explore further: NREL, UCLA certify world record for polymer solar cell efficiency

More information: "Bandgap engineering of ZnSnP2 for high-efficiency solar cells", Applied Physics Letters.

Related Stories

Crystal to glass cooling model developed

February 22, 2006

University of Tokyo scientists have discovered why cooling sometimes causes liquid molecules to form disordered glasses, rather than ordered crystals.

Digital memory enters a new phase

March 15, 2005

With the recent explosion in the popularity of digital music, digital photography and even digital video, the demand for faster, higher-capacity and cheaper computer memory has never been greater. Writing in the April issue ...

Photovoltaic cells tap underwater solar energy

June 7, 2012

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Electronics Science and Technology Division, dive into underwater photovoltaic research to develop high bandgap solar cells capable of producing sufficient power to ...

Recommended for you

Using optical chaos to control the momentum of light

October 19, 2017

Integrated photonic circuits, which rely on light rather than electrons to move information, promise to revolutionize communications, sensing and data processing. But controlling and moving light poses serious challenges. ...

Black butterfly wings offer a model for better solar cells

October 19, 2017

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with California Institute of Technology and the Karlsruh Institute of Technology has improved the efficiency of thin film solar cells by mimicking the architecture of rose butterfly wings. ...

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

October 19, 2017

Brown University researchers have demonstrated a way to bring a powerful form of spectroscopy—a technique used to study a wide variety of materials—into the nano-world.

0 comments

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.