Power/Performance Bits: June 24

Solar-cell efficiency in one step Rice University scientists have created a single-step process for producing highly efficient materials that let the maximum amount of sunlight reach a solar cell. The Rice lab of chemist Andrew Barron found a simple way to etch nanoscale spikes into silicon that allows more than 99 percent of sunlight to reach the cells’ active elements, where it can be t... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 13

More electricity out of solar cells When sunlight shines on today’s solar cells, much of the incoming energy is given off as waste heat rather than electrical current but in a few materials, extra energy produces extra electrons. According to researchers at MIT, this behavior could significantly increase solar-cell efficiency. The team has identified the mechanism by which the phenomenon ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 22

Thermal emitter improves solar cell efficiency Stanford University scientists have created a heat-resistant thermal emitter -- an element used in specialized solar cells -- that could significantly improve the efficiency of the cells. The heat-resistant thermal emitter is designed to convert heat from the sun into infrared light that can be absorbed by solar cells to make electricity – a tec... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 23

Thinnest light absorber Expected to potentially reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of solar cells, Stanford University scientists report they have created the thinnest, most efficient absorber of visible light on record. The nanoscale structure is thousands of times thinner than an ordinary sheet of paper. The researchers said achieving complete absorption of visible light with a mi... » read more