Laser textured solar cells will reflect less light and be more efficient

A University of Virginia team has been working on creating tiny nanoscale surface textures on solar cells that may reduce energy loss to less than 1 percent, compared to 30 percent or so that current solar cell non-reflecting coatings provide. By using lasers to create ‘nanospikes’ on the surface of the cell, the added hills and valleys create alot of additional surface area that reduces the amount of light reflected. The resulting solar cell will look black to the human eye. Even better, the team feels that the use of lasers to reduce reflectivity will lower the cost of the cells, since lasers are already used in the manufacture of solar cells and this process will eliminate the need for dangerous chemical treatments that are currently used to reduce reflection. The team believes that this process can provide an additional 2 to 3 percent increase in the overall efficiency of solar panels made from these cells.

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