Researchers have created a process to produce a light-absorbing layer on textured substrates to improve the efficiency of polymer solar cells (Image: Jeremy Levine Design via Flickr)
Sumit Chaudhary, left, and Kanwar Singh Nalwa of Iowa State University and the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory (Image: Leah Hansen)
The idea of boosting the performance of solar cells by coating them with a textured substrate is commonly used in silicon-based cells. The idea is to traps more light so that it bounces around inside the cell instead of reflecting back out, but for a number of reasons, attempts to use textured substrates in polymer solar cells have failed. Now researchers from Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory have developed a process of producing a thin and uniform light-absorbing layer on textured substrates that improves the efficiency of polymer solar cells by 20 percent.
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