Solar cells

Definition

Solar cells are devices for converting sunlight into electricity. Their primary element is often a semiconductor which absorbs light to produce carriers of electrical charge. An applied electric field can then sweep these carriers out of the semiconductor, thus producing an electrical current.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Light-weight and stretchable, organic photovoltaics offer unique integration prospects. Now, organic solar cells and modules can also be washed while maintaining good photoconversion efficiencies.

    • Ning Li
    •  & Christoph J. Brabec
    Nature Energy 2, 772–773
  • News and Views |

    Silicon-based photovoltaics dominate the market. A study now sets a new record efficiency for large-area crystalline silicon solar cells, placing the theoretical efficiency limits within reach.

    • Pierre-Jean Ribeyron
    Nature Energy 2, 17067
  • News and Views |

    Cheap, efficient, and stable thin photovoltaics that use abundant and non-toxic materials can deliver widespread renewable energy. New results using Earth-abundant and potentially cheap ZnO/Sb2Se3 solar cells indicate promising levels of stability.

    • Supratik Guha
    Nature Energy 2, 17057
  • News and Views |

    Reabsorption losses have long been holding back the commercial viability of luminescent solar concentrators. Now, non-toxic silicon-based quantum dots with enhanced Stokes shift may enable the technology to enjoy practical implementation.

    • Michael Debije
    Nature Photonics 11, 143–144