New Technique Speeds up Screening of Solar Cells

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In a recent industry development, researchers have developed novel materials for screening of solar cells. This approach would avoid time-consuming steps that are currently needed to test novel photovoltaic materials.

Globally, the quest by researchers to discover better and more efficient materials for solar panels for the future is slow and painstaking. This typically involves researchers to produce lab samples, which mostly constitute multiple layers of various materials that are bonded together for adequate testing.

New Technique to Display Higher Accuracy to Discover Performance of Solar Cells

Researchers at MIT and some other institutes have found a novel way to bypass the traditional approach that is expensive and time-consuming. The new technique could not only expedite search for new formulations, it could be more accurate for predicting the performance. On the contrary, traditional methods often require to create a specialized sample, which differs from actual cells and may not portray the performance of a real solar cell.

Typical testing methods, for example, showcases the behavior of majority carriers, wherein the movement of predominant particles generates an electric current. However, when photovoltaic carriers are used, the minority carriers which are much less in the material limit the device’s overall efficiency and are much difficult to be measured. Moreover, traditional approach only measures the flow of current in one direction, whereas the new materials harnesses the up-down flow of a working solar cell. Several materials can make the flow of current drastically different, which makes it critical to understand so as to properly assess the material.

Historically, the rate of development of new materials is slow that ranges from 10 to 25 years.

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