Solar Crystals Boost Solar

Solar Crystals Boost Solar Panels

Date:
April 2, 2014
Source:
International Union of Crystallography
Summary:

A new approach to studying solar panel absorber materials has been developed by researchers in France. The Solar Crystals technique could accelerate the development of non-toxic and readily available alternatives to current absorbers in thin film based solar cells.

Solar Crystals Boost Solar Panels

Solar Crystals Boost Solar Panels

The development of solar panel materials that are both non-toxic and made from readily available elements rather than rare and precious metals is a priority in developing a sustainable technology. Sulfide materials containing the relatively common metals copper, tin and zinc, so called kesterites, have been proposed as solar cell absorber materials because they comply with these two demands. Experimental solar crystals cells using Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) have demonstrated energy conversion efficiencies of 8.4% and 12% for a seleno-sulfide analogue. New structural information is crucial to improving on these figures still further.

Unfortunately, kesterites are not amenable to conventional X-ray diffraction because copper and zinc ions are indistinguishable. Now, Alain Lafond and his colleagues at Nantes University and Pierre Fertey from Soleil synchrotron have demonstrated that it is possible to carry out resonant diffraction of a single crystal of the semiconductor CZTS

Science Daily

Solar Crystals Boost Solar Panels

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