May 14, 2015

New shortcut to solar cells

Rice University discovery employs electrodes as catalysts to make black silicon

(May 13, 2015) Rice University scientists have found a way to simplify the manufacture of solar cells by using the top electrode as the catalyst that turns plain silicon into valuable black silicon.

The Rice lab of chemist Andrew Barron disclosed the research in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

Black silicon is silicon with a highly textured surface of nanoscale spikes or pores that are smaller than the wavelength of light. The texture allows the efficient collection of light from any angle, at any time of day. Barron and his team have been fine-tuning the creation of black silicon for some time, but an advance in the manufacturing technique should push it closer to commercialization, he said.

journal reference >>