Ultrafast laser to make solar cells more affordable, efficientMarch 9th, 2011 - 4:23 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Mar 9 (ANI): Researchers at Purdue University’s Center are developing a technology that employs ultrafast pulsing laser to help make solar cells more affordable and efficient.
The technology will help experts overcome two main issues: the need to reduce manufacturing costs and increase the efficiency of converting sunlight into an electric current, said Yung Shin.
The cells use tiny “microchannels” needed to interconnect a series of solar panels into an array capable of generating useable amounts of power, he said.
Conventional “scribing” methods, which create the channels mechanically with a stylus, are slow and expensive and produce imperfect channels, impeding solar cells’ performance.
“Production costs of solar cells have been greatly reduced by making them out of thin films instead of wafers, but it is difficult to create high-quality microchannels in these thin films,” Shin said.
“The mechanical scribing methods in commercial use do not create high-quality, well-defined channels. Although laser scribing has been studied extensively, until now we haven’t been able to precisely control lasers to accurately create the microchannels to the exacting specifications required.”
“The efficiency of solar cells depends largely on how accurate your scribing of microchannels is,” Shin said. “If they are made as accurately as possibly, efficiency goes up.”
Research results have shown that the fast-pulsing laser creates very clean microchannels on the surface of each layer, at a very high speed that’s not possible with a mechanical scribe.
The researchers plan to establish the scientific basis for the laser-ablation technique by the end of the three-year period.
The study was published in Proceedings of the 2011 NSF Engineering Research and Innovation Conference in January. (ANI)
- Growing nanolasers on silicon paves way for on-chip photonics - Feb 07, 2011
- Lasers to treat human heart after attack - Aug 12, 2011
- Laser-based processes may help create better artificial joints, arterial stents - Sep 16, 2009
- Short, on-chip light pulses to boost data transfer speeds on computers - Nov 25, 2010
- Silicon wire arrays enable development of highly absorbing and flexible solar cells - Feb 17, 2010
- Finding life on Mars could get easier with new tool - Feb 09, 2011
- Solar powered lasers could zap asteroids - Mar 28, 2012
- Sperms fight their way to female egg - May 08, 2012
- Nanobubbles 'can detect and eliminate prostate cancer cells' - Sep 28, 2010
- 'Quantum dots' technology to make solar cells more efficient, cheaper - Feb 21, 2011
- New solar cell technology boosts efficiency of photovoltaics - Apr 30, 2011
- Soon, vaccinations at the speed of light - courtesy lasers - Jul 30, 2010
- Shaped pulses could make opaque film see-through - Feb 27, 2011
- Scientists create hair thin solar cells - Apr 10, 2012
- Scientists use lasers to create macroscopic yarns - Dec 03, 2009
Tags: array, efficiency, exacting specifications, innovation conference, laser ablation, laser scribing, lasers, nsf engineering research, performance production, proceedings, purdue university, s center, scribe, solar cells, solar panels, stylus, sunlight, thin films, wafers, yung shin