The Advantages of Photovoltaic Cells with Nanostructures

Applied Tech Review | Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Solar energy can increase a country's energy security by providing a renewable, indigenous, and self-sufficient energy source while reducing pollution, enhancing sustainability, mitigating the effects of global warming, and keeping fossil fuel prices low.

FREMONT, CA: There has been a growing trend in the solar cell business and the manufacturing of highly efficient solar panels and solar cells in recent years. However, the present technology is inefficient, and manufacturing solar cells for large-scale electricity generation is prohibitively expensive. On the contrary, there have been possible breakthroughs in technology that could enable the production of more cost-effective and efficient solar cells. Additionally, quantum dots have the potential to revolutionize the solar cell sector. While nanotechnology can increase the efficiency of solar cells, the most exciting application of nanotechnology in the solar cell sector is the significant cost reduction. Photovoltaic cells based on CdTe, CuInGaSe (CIGS), CuInSe (CIS), and a variety of organic materials are being developed rapidly to lower the cost and increase the amount of energy generated. Thus, the application of nanotechnology in the design and fabrication of low-cost solar cells may undoubtedly contribute to environmental preservation.

The Benefits of Nanostructured Photovoltaic Cells

Nanoparticles can be used as nanostructured layers coated on thin-film solar cells due to their enhanced and promoted physicochemical qualities and high surface to area ratio. This results in three significant advantages. First, the effective optical path for light absorption is substantially more significant than the actual film thickness because of many reflections. Second, light-generated electrons and holes must be delivered over a significantly shorter path to reduce recombination loss significantly. As a result, the absorption layer of solar cells using nanostructured thin films can be as thin as roughly 150 nanometers, compared to several micrometers in conventional thin-film solar cells. As a third and final advantage, various layers of energy band gap can be produced based on desired applications by varying the size of nanoparticles. Other advantages may accrue from nanomaterials in the fabrication of solar cells. It is possible to significantly minimize installation costs by producing flexible rolls rather than rigid crystalline panels. Currently, nanotechnology-based solar cells are not as efficient as conventional solar cells, but they are more affordable. Over time, nanomaterial-based solar cells may become more affordable, and if quantum dots are integrated into the manufacturing process, better efficiencies may also be achieved.

It is a truth that the world now requires more renewable, sustainable, and clean energy than ever before to phase out the use of fossil fuels, which contribute substantial amounts of pollution to the atmosphere and to meet rising energy demand patterns. Numerous studies must be conducted to develop the most efficient platforms for converting solar energy to electricity. With their fascinating features and enhanced surface area for trapping large amounts of photons, nanomaterials can play a critical role in constructing solar cells and harnessing the Sun's enormous amount of heat and energy.

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