Scientists at Natcore Technology Inc. have created a black surface on a silicon wafer that is the blackest silicon solar cell ever recorded, officials said Thursday.
Further work on the product is to be done at Natcore’s research and development center in the Eastman Business Park, officials said.
Using simple liquid bath processes, scientists created an “absolute black” cell with an average reflectance in the visible and near-infrared region of the solar spectrum of 0.3 percent, company officials said.
“Absolute black is to reflected light as absolute zero is to heat,” Natcore chief technology officer Dennis Flood said in a statement. “And getting close to zero reflectance with a process that we can use for the production of commercial solar cells is simply astounding.”
Compared with current standard production cells, the latest development is a tenfold reduction in reflectance over that portion of the spectrum, which accounts for 80 percent of the usable power drawn from sunlight, officials said.
Blackness in solar cells is desirable as an indicator of light is being absorbed for conversion to energy rather than being reflected and wasted, officials said.
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