November 6, 2013
Recipe For High-efficiency Solar Cells
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)
For many years scientists and engineers have been trying to provide low-cost solar energy by developing a cheap solar cell that is both highly efficient and at the same time simple to build, enabling it to be mass produced. Now, the team led by Empa researcher Ayodhya N. Tiwari has made a major leap forward: the researchers are presenting a new manufacturing technique for CIGS solar cells, in which tiny quantities of sodium and potassium are incorporated into the CIGS layer. The special treatment alters the chemical composition of the complex sandwich structure – thereby altering its electronic properties, as confirmed by various methods including detailed electron microscope investigations. Details of the new method have now been published as an "Advance Online Publication" in the renowned journal Nature Materials.
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