Jun 20, 2012Science and Technology
Solar nanowire flexible absorption

Researchers creating electricity through photovoltaics want to convert as many of the sun’s wavelengths as possible to achieve maximum efficiency. Indium gallium nitride could be a valuable future material for photovoltaic systems. Sandia National Laboratories discovered that if an indium mixture is grown on a phalanx of nanowires rather than a flat surface, the indium shell layer will "relax" and produce less strain. This relaxation allowed the team to create a nanowire solar cell with indium percentages of approximately 33 percent, which is higher than any other reported attempt at creating III-nitride solar cells. This initial attempt also lowered the absorption base energy from 2.4eV to 2.1 eV, which is the lowest of any III-nitride solar cell to date. This made a wider range of wavelengths available for power conversion. The results represent a promising path for Ill-nitride solar research.

Relevant Locations: Albuquerque, NM, USA
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