Solar cells may soon be receiving a big boost to their efficiency thanks to a newly created process whereby the cell surface is coated with extremely small nanoscale structures. These nanoscale structures work to almost completely eliminate the reflection losses of solar radiation, thereby greatly boosting efficiency. Because of the very low reflectivity of the new nanostructured black silicon coating, more of the Sun’s radiation becomes available for exploitation.
The new work is being done on crystalline silicon solar cells, as those are currently the primary type of solar cells on the market.
“The advantages of silicon include the long-term stability, sufficiency, low cost and non-toxicity of the element, as well as the advanced production technology. Another benefit of these solar cells is their relatively high efficiency and technological compatibility with the manufacturing technologies currently used by the semiconductor industry,” Assistant Professor Hele Savin, at Aalto University, explains.