Black Silicon-Powered Photovoltaic Device Offers 132% Efficiency

Researchers at Aalto University in Finland have come up with a photovoltaic device design that has a quantum efficiency of 132%.

This impressive and seemingly improbable exploit was made possible thanks to nanostructured black silicon, a semiconductor material accidentally discovered in the 80s that has very low reflectivity and high light absorption .

When a photon hits the surface of a photovoltaic device, an electron gets knocked off its orbit.

So with their recent development, the Aalto team state that they have largely moved past these barriers.

Black silicon absorbs photons far more efficiently than other materials and its nanostructure with cones and columns largely prevents the recombination of electrons on the surface.

The team states that this record-breaking efficiency could be used to improve any kind of photodetector, be it solar cells or light sensors for other purposes.

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