Solar Cells Internal Structure Studied

Guest_Jim_* - July 5, 2011 08:17PM in Science & Technology

Researchers from the Universities of Sheffield and Cambridge have made a discovery that can lead to cheaper and more efficient solar cells. By using neutron and X-ray scattering they were able to examine the internal structure of the photovoltaic films they made without destroying the film in the process. What they found was when a complex mixture of molecules was painted onto a surface, the molecules would separate to the top and bottom of the layer to maximize the efficiency of the cell. This discovery and the use of multiple scattering techniques can lead to increased efficiency of solar cells made from cheaper materials. This includes materials that are flexible and can be placed over large areas, like a cling-film.