SOLAR CELLS

Getting around solar cell loss

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Science  13 Nov 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6262, pp. 784-785
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6262.784-e

The overall performance of a solar cell depends on many parameters, but harnessing as much light as possible and converting it into electricity are fundamental. Losses in that conversion process, however, are inevitable, either from electrical losses in the material or the connecting circuitry, or “shadow loss” from the contact circuitry itself as it blocks out the sun. Schumann et al. show that the principle of optical cloaking could be used to reduce shadow loss. They designed a cloak that is placed over the shadowing contact circuits, effectively rendering the contacts invisible. With more light reaching the cell, it should be able to squeeze out a little more performance.

Optica 2, 850 (2015).

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