Interesting development in solar

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Old Rocks, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. Old Rocks

    Old Rocks Diamond Member

    Oct 31, 2008
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    Portland, Ore.
    Research highlights potential for improved solar cells
    Certain nanocrystals shown to generate more than one electron
    LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, February 10, 2009—A team of Los Alamos researchers led by Victor Klimov has shown that carrier multiplication—when a photon creates multiple electrons—is a real phenomenon in tiny semiconductor crystals and not a false observation born of extraneous effects that mimic carrier multiplication. The research, explained in a recent issue of Accounts of Chemical Research, shows the possibility of solar cells that create more than one unit of energy per photon.

    Questions about the ability to increase the energy output of solar cells have prompted Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers to reassess carrier multiplication in extremely small semiconductor particles.

    When a conventional solar cell absorbs a photon of light, it frees an electron to generate an electrical current. Energy in excess of the amount needed to promote an electron into a conducting state is lost as heat to atomic vibrations (phonons) in the material lattice. Through carrier multiplication, excess energy can be transferred to another electron instead of the material lattice, freeing it to generate electrical current—thereby yielding a more efficient solar cell.

    Research highlights potential for improved solar cells

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