Korean Scientists Create “Invisible Solar Panels” And Now Windows Can Generate Electricity

The solar cell created by the team is transparent, allowing its use in a wide range of applications. Credit: Joondong Kim from Incheon National University

Korean scientist is working to create invisible solar panels and in future windows will be generating electricity. A study has done by Incheon National University in Korea shows how to make a fully transparent solar cell.

According to a new study in the Journal of Power Sources, an International team of researchers are led by Prof. Joondong Kim from Korea demonstrated the first transparent solar cell. The unique and innovative technique rests on a specific part of the solar cell: the heterojunction made up of thin films of materials responsible for absorbing light. By combining the unique properties of titanium dioxide and nickel oxide semiconductors, the researchers were able to generate an efficient, transparent solar cell.

All the countries across the world are working to reduce the carbon content from the environment and especially after completing the five years after the Paris climate agreement, the world is looking towards the world’s progress on the road to a carbon-free future.A crucial part of this goal involves the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources, such as sun, water, wind and wave energy. Solar energy is the highest priority among all forms of energy. In recent decades, solar cells have become cheaper, more efficient, and environmentally friendly. However, current solar cells tend to be opaque, which prevents their wider use and integration into everyday materials, constrained to being lined up on roofs and in remote solar farms.

The solar cell created by the team is transparent, allowing its use in a wide range of applications. Credit: Joondong Kim from Incheon National University

Now, the next-generation solar panels can be integrated into windows, buildings, or even mobile phone screens? This is the hope of Professor Joondong Kim from the Department of Electrical Engineering at Incheon National University, Korea. In a recent study published in the Journal of Power Sources, he and his colleagues detail their latest invention: a fully transparent solar cell. “The unique features of transparent photovoltaic cells could have various applications in human technology,” says Prof. Kim.

The idea is well known and but this novel application where scientists have been able to translate this idea into practice is a crucial new finding. At present, the materials making the solar cell opaque are the semiconductor layers, those responsible for capturing light and translating it into an electrical current. Hence, Prof. Kim and his colleagues looked at two potential semiconductor materials, identified by previous researchers for their desirable properties.

The first is titanium dioxide (TiO2), a well-known semiconductor already widely used to make solar cells. On top of its excellent electrical properties, TiO2 is also an environment-friendly and non-toxic material. This material absorbs UV light (a part of the light spectrum invisible to the naked eye) while letting through most of the visible light range. The second material investigated to make this junction was nickel oxide (NiO), another semiconductor known to have high optical transparency. As nickel is one of the most abundant elements on Earth, and its oxide can easily be manufactured at low industrial temperatures, NiO is also a great material to make eco-friendly cells.

Source: Sci Tech Daily

Written by Utsav Srinet

Utsav Singh is a Nature Lover and Blogger. He writes about facts and information related to Nature, Travel and World

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