Thin is in


When it comes to solar panel material, thinner is better. Now the thinnest-ever light-absorbing material has been developed that can absorb close to 100 per cent of visible light. Such efficiency is not possible with larger materials as the energised electrons have to cover a long distance to reach an electrode in that case. But within the new material it is a short trip—the material consists of trillions of 14 nanometre high and 17 nanometre wide gold nanodots sitting atop a thin wafer covered with a thin-film. This can significantly enhance the efficiency of solar cells while minimising the amount of material necessary to build the device. 



Down To Earth, August 2013