A material with a novel nanostructure developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley could lead to lower-cost solar cells and light detectors. It absorbs light just as well as commercial thin-film solar cells but uses much less semiconductor material.
According to Ali Javey, an electrical engineering and computer science professor at UC Berkeley, his group's method of making nanopillars of varying diameters and shapes is simple compared to other approaches, which involve a complicated layer-by-layer assembly of materials, and complex materials that combine wires with metal nanoparticles.
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SPIE Newsroom article by Ali Javey et al.: A 3D nanostructure for improved solar-cell efficiency