Learning by eye: Silicon micro-funnels increase the efficiency of solar cells

25 febrero 2015

A biological structure in mammalian eyes has inspired scientists to design an inorganic counterpart for use in solar cells: micron-sized vertical funnels were etched shoulder-to-shoulder in a silicon substrate. Using mathematical models and experiments, they tested how these kind of funnel arrays collect incident light and conduct it to the active layer of a silicon solar cell. Their result: this arrangement of funnels increases photo absorption by about 65 percent in a thin-film solar cell.