Solar panels often receive flak for spoiling the appearances of homes and businesses. This may be about to change.
In a new development, a research group has created an extremely transparent solar cell with a 2D atomic sheet. These nearly invisible solar cell attained an average visible transparency of 79%, which implies, theoretically, they can be placed everywhere for building windows, front panel of cars, and even human skin.
In fact, scientists have long sought to fabricate transparent solar cells, but suitable materials have not existed so far.
To fabricate the solar cell, it involved controlling the contact obstructions between indium tin oxide – one of the most extensively used transparent conducting oxides, and a single layer tungsten disulphide. Various thin metals were coated on indium tin oxide and a thin layer of tungsten oxide pushed between the coated indium tin oxide and tungsten disulphide.
The way in which the solar cells is fabricated resulted in a power conversion efficiency more than 1,000 times that of a device that uses a normal indium tin oxide electrode.
The effort of the group did not stop here. They also explored how solar cell can be expanded for use in an actual solar panel.
The appropriate design modifications needed to avoid an unexpected drop in voltage that follows with the increase in device area was discovered, stated one of the researchers.
The details of the research is published in the journal Scientific Reports.