Gold Nanoparticles Enhance Organic Solar Cells

Guest_Jim_* - August 19, 2011 10:19AM in Science & Technology

The efficiency of solar cells varies just as much as the cost of producing, and yes, cost and efficiency are directly linked. At the cheaper end are polymer or organic solar cells which are thinner than those made of silicon wafers and easier to produce. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have found a way to increase the efficiency of organic solar cells by 20% using gold nanoparticles. With an interconnecting layer of the gold present a strong electromagnetic field is created by the plasmonic effect. This field then concentrates the light falling the solar cell so much the subcells are able to convert more of it. While increasing the efficiency of the solar cell to 6.24% does not seem like much, this is the first time the utilization of the plasmonic effect has been effective and has potential in future solar cell designs.