It was bound to happen, haven’t you been waiting for news that the super solar power cell is here. Well perhaps it is. Oil move over!
Researchers at Stanford University report they have developed a super thin solar cell that absorbs sunlight much better than the large clunky silicon cells. And they are much cheaper to make.
Does this remind anyone of the early days of computer technology and those huge old hard discs that stored almost nothing.
What the research engineers found was that light plays differently when in the really really thin world. We are talking at the nanometer level (a billionth of a meter). Try getting into those pants. Oh and the super thin solar cell must have a few rough edges to tickle the light
Trapped light bouncing around inside a nanoscale-thin film that has had the surface roughed up a bit will absorb more than 10 times the energy than theory says it should. The key is the keep the sunlight bouncing around in the solar cell as long as possible to squeeze the maximum energy from it.
“The longer a photon of light is in the solar cell, the better chance the photon can get absorbed,” said Shanhui Fan, associate professor of electrical engineering.
Perhaps a solar powered world is closer than we think.