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Plasmon Solar Cells

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posted on May, 23 2007 @ 07:52 PM
Always interested in solar cell development I saw this tastey tidbit on one of my favorite sites PNU. I believe they have commercial cells that are based on NASA solar cells that have 30% effeciency...thats incredible.
Another company in Ottawa has achieved the same. Very practicle Solar Cells are almost here.

When light strikes a metal sample it can initiate electrical disturbances in the surface, either as localized excitations called surface plasmons or as moving waves called surface plasmon polaritons. The plasmons can be considered as a sort of proxy for the light, except at a shorter wavelength.

If, moreover, the plasmon energy can be efficiently collected and transferred to an underlying waveguide as part of a solar cell, then the cells’ yield can grow. This what the New South Wales researchers do. They use silver nanoparticles to excite surface plasmons, which enhances light trapping. For 1.25-micron-thick thin-film cells, the enhancement was by a factor of 16 for light with a wavelength of 1050 nm.

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