GaAs (Gallium Arsenide) is considered to be the best material for making highly efficient solar cells. This is because of their unique electrical and light absorption characteristics. Generally, the material is used for building solar panels to be used in space. However, good-quality GaAs solar cell components are relatively expensive to produce. The downside has even augmented the demand for techniques aimed at cutting the use of these materials. Through constant research, it has been realized that a nanowire structure may theoretically improve solar cell performance compared to traditional planar solar cells even if less material is employed.
A research team might have finally proved this theory as they unveiled a method for creating an ultra-high material-efficient solar cell. The developed technology was accomplished through semiconductor nanowires. The technique could help boost the Solar Panel Market as placing the new solar cells with the help of semiconductor nanowires could practically double the efficiency of present solar cells. The system's most remarkable feature is how simple and cost-effective it is.
The team stated that their new method relies on GaAs material and is highly effective due to nanostructuring. It enables the team to create solar cells far more efficiently than presently available with only a minuscule material than what is usually used.
GaAs solar cells are generally grown on a thick and pricy GaAs substrate leaving hardly any room for reducing costs. So, the team presented a method where GaAs is grown on a dual tandem cell via GaAs nanowire cell on the upper side. The nanowire cell is developed on a bottom Si cell. This helps avoid the use of any expensive GaAs substrate. The research brings forth how the cost of growing the top GaAs nanowire cell can be minimized. The idea is worth applauding as the GaAs fabrication cost has been one of the primary reasons the technology has not managed to succeed.
The nanowire' structure's mall footprint provides added benefit. It offers the creation of high quality in the nanowires and within the interface made of silicon. In total, the result is better solar cell performance. The team added that further development of this technology is likely to be straightforward and might make the method even more cost-effective if proper investments are made and innovative R&D projects are undertaken.
The researchers also stated that the approach could be adapted where nanowires are grown on different types of substrates. This might also lead to opening new windows of opportunities for the application.
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