A research group from Finland claims that its work on black silicon could help speed the development of a new ultra-efficient generation of solar cells.
Black silicon is a modified form of silicon that, thanks to a needle-shaped surface structure, has low reflectivity and high absorption of light. The material’s properties have always excited the photovoltaics community, but problems with surface recombination have hampered its application.
Now, working alongside experts from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, the group from Aalto University in Helsinki, claims to have improved the characteristics of the material by applying an atomic layer to the silicon.
This is claimed to not only enhance the light absorption of the silicon but also its surface passivation, which means that it is more resistant to impurities.
According to research published in the Journal of Photovoltaics, the breakthrough could help the development of high-efficiency solar cells and could also have benefits for other areas of technology, such as drug analysis.