A schematic of a germanium nanopillar array embedded in an alumina foil membrane (left), and SEM images of a blank alumina membrane with dual-diameter pores (right) (Images: Ali Javey)
Chemist Ali Javey, who led development of the tapered nanopillars (Photo: Berkeley Lab)
Solar cells could become more efficient and less expensive, thanks to the development of tapered nanopillar semiconductors that are narrow at the top and wide at the bottom. Created by chemist Ali Javey and his group from California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the two-micron-high nanopillars’ unique shape allows them to collect as much or more light than conventional semiconductors, while using much less material.
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