The PV cell consists of semiconductor material, which conducts electricity better than an insulator but not as efficiently as a good conductor like metal.

Fremont, CA: When light strikes a photovoltaic (PV) cell, also known as a solar cell, it can get reflected, absorbed, or flow directly through the cell. The PV cell consists of semiconductor material, which conducts electricity better than an insulator but not as efficiently as a good conductor like metal. PV cells make use of a variety of semiconductor materials.

The efficiency of a PV cell is essentially the quantity of electrical power produced by the cell compared to the energy produced by the light shining on it, indicating how successful the cell is in converting energy from one form to another. The quantity of energy produced by PV cells gets determined by the properties of the available light (such as intensity and wavelengths) as well as the cell's many performance factors.

In the sections below, learn more about the widely used semiconductor materials for PV cells.

Silicon 

Silicon is the most commonly used semiconductor material in solar cells, accounting for nearly 95percent of all modules marketed today. It is also the second most plentiful element on the planet (after oxygen) and the most often utilized semiconductor in computer circuits. Crystalline silicon cells get constructed from silicon atoms linked together to create a crystal lattice. This lattice provides a structured structure that improves the efficiency of light-to-electricity conversion.

Photovoltaics on Thin Film

One or even more than one thin layer of PV material gets deposited on supporting materials such as glass, plastic, or metal to create a thin-film solar cell. Today, there are two primary kinds of thin-film PV semiconductors: cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS). Both materials could get put directly onto the module's front or rear surface.

Organic Photovoltaics 

Organic PV, or OPV, cells are made of carbon-rich (organic) molecules and can be tuned to improve a specific PV cell function such as bandgap, transparency, or color. OPV cells are now only about half as effective as crystalline silicon cells and have shorter operational lifetimes, but they may be less expensive to produce in large quantities. They may also get put on various supporting materials, such as flexible plastic, allowing OPV to be helpful for a wide range of applications. PV