New technologies are on the verge of optimizing the performance of solar panels.

FREMONT, CA: Solar energy is attracting a lot of attention today. Till a few years ago, solar energy was viewed as a non-conventional choice with minimum rates of adoption. As the costs of solar cells started going down, the adoption grew steadily. Currently, solar power is considered to be an indispensable alternative to non-renewable sources of energy. However, the effort towards realizing better operational efficiencies continues even now. Experts are constantly in pursuit of enhancing semiconductors to make solar infrastructure more dependable.

An article, recently published in c&en, addressed developments in semiconductor materials discovered by researchers at MIT that have the potential to enhance energy conversion by solar cells. Currently, the usual amount of efficiency displayed by the solar panels is 29 percent. As per the results of the new research, a single layer of silicon can offer a conversion efficiency of 35 percent, which is significantly more. This increase has the potential to give electricity generation from solar cells a great boost.

Solar cells comprise semiconductors like silicon that enable the conversion of a selective array of wavelengths of sunlight into electric energy. This range of wavelengths, which can be converted, is a property of the material present in the solar cell. The response and effectiveness of the conversion of solar to electric energy can be improved by expanding the range of wavelengths. According to the same article in c&en, researchers have discovered a material that allows a combination of tetracene and silicon to work in solar cells. Going ahead, one can expect these outcomes to be used for the development of commercial products.

Once the properties of solar cells can be developed and enhanced at scale, the solar energy sector will benefit significantly. The rise in efficiency will enable solar plants to produce much more power than their current limits.

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