If photovoltaic panels tend to contrast with the materials of the buildings on which they are installed, all of that could soon change: A team of Japanese researchers has succeeded in creating nearly invisible solar cells.
Semi-transparent solar cell
Scientists have always strived to develop Solar cells Transparent but in the absence of suitable materials, this challenge seemed insurmountable until recently. In the context of the work published in the magazine Scientific ReportsScientists at Tohoku University have taken a big step in this direction, designing a highly transparent solar cell using two-dimensional atomic chips.
This has average transparency of 79%meaning it could theoretically be applied to a wide variety of surfaces: building windows, car windshields, windows, and even human skin.
To achieve this, the team refined the interface between indium tin oxide (ITO), one of the most widely used transparent conductive oxides, and a monolayer of tungsten disulfide. ” Many thin metals are coated with indium tin oxide (ITO) and a thin layer of tungsten oxide inserted between the coated ITO and tungsten disulfide Researchers detail.
” The way we configured the solar cell resulted in a power conversion efficiency more than 1,000 times higher than a device using a normal ITO electrode », details Toshiaki Kato, lead author of the study.
Researchers are working to expand it
The group’s efforts did not stop there. The team also studied how this type of solar cell could be combined to form real solar panels.
” It is necessary to choose the right architectural design for expanding the scope of solar cells Cato explains. ” We have identified appropriate design modifications needed to avoid unexpected voltage drops that typically accompany increased device space.. »